Atlanta, Georgia (April 2, 2012) – Students and staff at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges planted 60 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation this weekend, in celebration of the colleges' commitment to improving tree care and sustainability and becoming eligible for Tree Campus USA status.
The volunteer efforts at Spelman and Morehouse colleges are two among 13 tree planting events sponsored by the Foundation and Toyota during the spring of 2012, six of them being held at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The events at HBCUs are part of an aggressive campaign to encourage sustainability and prepare schools for Tree Campus USA recognition in 2012.
At Spelman, trees were planted between Read Hall and The Suites, while at Morehouse trees were planted in several key areas on campus. The 60 trees include four species native to the region.
"It is important that we understand that our atmosphere and environment are essential to our health and well being, said JaQuenetta Dugger of the Morehouse College Bonner Office of Community Service. "Planting trees is a way for people to give back to the environment for future generations. Spring is the perfect time to plant a tree and every tree planted makes a difference in our quality of life on campus."
"As outlined in our Sustainable Spelman initiative, we are committed to reducing the College's environmental impact," said Arthur E. Frazier III, AIA, Director, Facilities Management and Services, Spelman. "We greatly appreciate this generous donation of trees from the Arbor Day Foundation in support of our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint."
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.
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 is available at www.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 on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.
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.