Apr 26, 2013

Colleges committed to Campus Tree Management and Forestry

Old Dominion University

This time of year, college campuses are truly at their best.  Admitted student days and approaching graduations get grounds crews hustling out to plant grass and mulch gardens.  With a little cooperation from Mother Nature, flowers bloom and trees begin to green.

But beyond wanting to look attractive, a handful of colleges and universities have deepened their commitment to campus tree management and forestry.  These schools have earned special distinction in the Tree Campus USA program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

Out of well over 4,000 degree-granting colleges and universities in the U.S., only 191 have earned Tree Campus recognition to-date for their efforts to sustain healthy community forests both for students and residents of surrounding communities.
Catholic University of America

To earn the title, college campuses must meet five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory
committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for trees, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.

It is the hope that colleges will develop connections with the local communities to foster healthy, urban forests and involve students in projects to support this effort.

Locally, only nine colleges and universities have earned this distinction.  These include

"The Arbor Day Foundation has been a great partner for us as we continue to develop our tree planting and care efforts on campus,” said Matthew Gart, landscape architect for Virginia Tech’s Office of University Planning.  “We were one of the first schools recognized as a Tree Campus USA and view our re-certification as a critical part of our commitment to trees on the Virginia Tech Campus."

So in honor of Arbor Day 2013, take a few minutes and check out the complete list of colleges earning the title of Tree Campus USA.  These are some of the most beautiful campuses in America.

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