When driving along Shelbyville Road, many motorists do not realize how much pollution their cars are releasing or the harmful health effects it may have on the young students at St. Margaret Mary School. Scientists from the University of Louisville are leading a study to determine if planting trees in the schoolyard might improve the air and health of the students.
UofL Physiology Professor Alex Carll says the goal is to, “reduce air pollution levels and therefore, ideally, see improved health.”
UofL, The Nature Conservancy, Hyphae Design Laboratory and the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil are collaborating on the Green Heart Project. They planted more than 100 trees in St. Mary Margaret’s front lawn with the idea that the trees could filter out heavy traffic pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. Previous research has connected high levels of pollution to the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
UofL is monitoring the air as well as the health of both students and staff with preliminary results showing improvements in all areas.