Lincoln, Neb. (March 6, 2012) – AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, a three-year partner of the Arbor Day Foundation, is encouraging its member campuses across the country to plant trees this spring.
AASHE has been a partner and supporter of the Foundation's Tree Campus USA® program, which awards national recognition to colleges and universities for effective community forestry management, since 2009. The events will take place in March and April and are intended to help even more campuses meet sustainability goals through planting and caring for existing trees.
Campuses hosting events include Colorado State University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Purdue University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Illinois Chicago and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Currently, 91 Tree Campus USAs are also AASHE members, and 28 of those institutions have used their Tree Campus USA recognition to earn credits toward AASHE's STARS certification, a standard for sustainability in higher education.
"We're gratified to be working with AASHE on bringing the spirit of conservation to college students throughout the country," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Planting and properly caring for trees is a key element of any campus sustainability effort."
"Our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation has allowed us to expand our services to campus sustainability officers," according to Paul Rowland, AASHE executive director. "The new efforts that recognize tree planting on campus serve multiple purposes, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to creating safe and healthy areas for relaxation and reflection."
Campuses throughout the country are currently applying and beginning to undergo review for the Tree Campus USA program, with the number of participating colleges and universities expected to increase to more than 150 campuses. Tree Campus USA is sponsored by a generous grant from Toyota.
To earn Tree Campus USA recognition, schools must meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement: 1) Establish a campus tree advisory committee; 2) Demonstrate evidence of a campus tree-care plan; 3) Maintain dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; 4) Celebrate Arbor Day; 5) Sponsor a service-learning project.
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About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.
About AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education: AASHE is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff and students, as well as the business that serve them, with: thought leadership and essential knowledge resources; outstanding opportunities for professional development; and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half a billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy