SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has once again designed for good efforts with purpose and intention.

On Wednesday, SCAD SERVE, a community of students, faculty, staff and dozens of volunteers, planted more than 100 mature live oaks, magnolias and fringe trees in two Savannah areas, where trees are needed the most: the Canal District and the Brickyard neighborhood.

“Society grows, so goes the adage, when its leaders plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit,” stated SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace. “In my research on how SCAD can continue to improve quality of life in our hometown of Savannah, I’ve seen the undeniable link between urban deforestation and the lives and health of its residents.”

Wallace continued, “Established trees and new plantings have a direct and positive impact on economic vitality, physical and mental wellness, and beauty — and trees significantly reduce surface temperatures during warmer months. All of Savannah’s neighborhoods deserve these benefits. We cannot call Savannah the most beautiful city in the world while so many of our neighborhoods are in dire need of more natural beauty.”

Under the guidance of President Wallace and academic leadership, SCAD and faculty built a roadmap for communities across the U.S. to advocate for environmental equity through the university’s SCAD SERVE Design for Good initiative.

The initiative is dedicated to creating solutions that improve the quality of life in the areas of food, shelter, clothing and the environment. Design for Good is a 10-week course that engages students’ creative intellect to generate elevated, community-centered solutions aimed at the positive transformation in the university’s hometown communities.

“Through academic courses, led by expert professors and SCAD alumni, SCAD SERVE has tackled the ‘tree problem’ in Savannah from the root,” Wallace stated. “We have hired alumni specifically to help us address this challenge, using applied research to quantify the need for more trees in our city and the benefits to underserved communities.”

“Climate change has exacerbated existing inequities in communities around the globe, and our research has identified the need for SCAD innovation and creativity in this precise area,” Wallace explained. “Once again, SCAD leads the way in improving the world around us.”