This will happen every year

University Council members get 'tree gift card'

Overhandiging boomcertificaat Uraad, screenshot
Executive Board President Anton Pijpers hands over the first certificate to Claire Bruls, who was named the best representative of the year. Screenshot of the University Council meeting livestream.

The council members did not get an actual tree to plant in their gardens, obviously. Instead, the Executive Board gave each council member a certificate with which they can donate a tree to the Utrecht Student Tree Fund. “We are giving you a gift so that you can give a gift to the tree fund,” said Pijpers.

The Utrecht Student Tree Fund was partly set up by student members of the University Council, who noted that students would rather contribute to biodiversity than get a goodie bag or a figurine when they graduate. They suggested planting a tree for each graduate. The Executive Board considered that idea a bit too much because the university doesn't have the space to plant all those trees. 

However, they did find a middle ground. Every year, Utrecht University will plant a tree at Utrecht Science Park on behalf of everyone who graduated that year. In addition, the university established the Utrecht Student Tree Fund, to which anyone can donate money. The idea is to encourage the friends and family of the graduates to contribute to biodiversity as well instead of giving them a gift. Those trees will be planted elsewhere in the Netherlands.

The University Council members must hand in their certificate - which is made from roadside grass - to the tree fund. In April, the university planted a magnolia tree and a cedar in the Botanical Gardens on behalf of the graduates of the previous two years. A bench was placed next to them.

Tags: biodiversity | tree