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MUSC: an arboretum

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The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston has embraced the mission of making its campus an integral part of its health and wellness goals and is a certified arboretum. Trees are especially critical to a healthy environment, decreasing rain water runoff, reducing air pollution, providing shade, lessening urban heat island effects and creating an aesthetically pleasing canopy, softening the many building facades. Of the two thousand five hundred trees, sixty percent are native, and bee-friendly trees are always considered when new plants are added, as the Arboretum has the honor of being a certified bee friendly campus. Pedestrian traffic, people walking around and under trees actually compresses the soil – think of a school playground. Many small work vehicles drive across tree roots as well. Each tree is evaluated frequently checking for overall health and any interventions that may be needed.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.