Parking lot removal to include trees along University Avenue
The parking lot between University Avenue and 2nd Avenue North, north of the Fritz Pollard Jr. Athletic Center on the UND campus, will soon be removed to make way for a new campus construction project.
This first step of the project – razing the site – will include the removal of trees in and around the existing parking lot, including several large cottonwoods on the south side of University Avenue.
The area of tree removal will extend east from Columbia Road to the intersection of 25th Street.
In recent months, UND consulted Grand Forks’ city foresters, who determined many of the trees to be in poor condition and therefore safety risks if left standing. A recommendation was made to remove the trees as soon as practical during the project.
A number of UND’s ash trees located within the former parking lot, as well as near the perimeter of the site, are also in poor condition, according to UND Facilities Management. These trees are also susceptible to the emerald ash borer, a destructive pest that has been spreading across the region.
Mike Pieper, associate vice president for facilities, confirmed that some of the trees would be coming down this year, regardless of the project, due to the risk of they pose as dead or dying trees.
Trees that will remain on-site are healthy elm trees selected by the city to be protected in place as well as recently planted trees between the sidewalk and roadway.
With trees coming down elsewhere on campus because of construction work and other factors, such as age and disease, UND’s landscape specialists are planting around 150 trees a year. Also, UND has expanded the varieties of trees it’s introducing to campus – a safeguard against future scourges such as Dutch elm disease, which continues to affect UND’s longest standing trees.
As this new project takes shape, new tree growth will certainly follow.
Be sure to check the Campus Renewal blog for the latest information on this and other campus construction projects.