Photo by Tommy LaVergne

As students make their way across campus, Rice’s 4,000-plus trees provide welcome shade when it’s hot and a shower of golden hues as cooler months ensue. Designated as a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2012, Rice is one of nine colleges and universities across Texas to make the list. The program honors schools that use sustainable practices and engage students, faculty and staff in tree planting and conservation initiatives. A team of 31 groundskeepers, arborists and other specialists regularly maintain the trees at Rice, which include many species of oaks and two “moon trees,” a loblolly pine and a sycamore, grown from seeds taken into space on the Apollo 14 mission to the moon.

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