Lincoln, Neb. (March 4, 2012) - A growing number of colleges and universities were named a 2011 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, with a total of 148 campuses recognized for their commitment to effective community forestry management.
The number of campuses recognized is up about 30 percent compared to 2010, when 116 were named a Tree Campus USA. The complete list of 2011 campuses is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
The Foundation and Toyota are sponsoring 13 tree planting events throughout the country this spring to acknowledge these accomplishments and give students and staff the opportunity to participate in campus conservation.
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
Seven of the tree planting events will be jointly sponsored by AASHE, or the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the remaining six will be co-sponsored by the historically black Greek organizations Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The first event was held at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, on March 29.
"Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis of these leading campuses on well-maintained and healthy trees so important," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "We're excited to again plant trees with Toyota on campuses throughout the country, and are delighted to be working with new partners to make it happen."
"At Toyota, we believe in empowering individuals to make our communities cleaner and greener," said Pat Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy for Toyota Motor North America. "We are thrilled that students and staff of diverse backgrounds are coming together to earn Tree Campus USA designations and participate in campus tree planting events across the country -- protecting our environment and strengthening communities at the same time."
Campus events co-sponsored by AASHE include Valencia College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Colorado State University, Purdue University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Virginia Commonwealth University. Events co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority include Kentucky State University, Hampton University, Wilberforce University, Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, the University of South Florida and Texas Southern University.
Several of the campuses hosting events were recognized as a Tree Campus USA for the first time, while others are still working toward the designation.
During 2011, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota helped campuses throughout the country plant 30,000 trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities have invested more than $22 million in campus forest management. More information about the Tree Campus USA program and a complete list of 2011 campuses is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
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 can be found on the Arbor Day Foundation Blog, or by visiting us on Facebook or Twitter.
About Toyota: 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 toyota.com/philanthropy.