Nebraska City, Neb. (Feb. 10, 2009) – Twenty-nine schools from across the United States earned Tree Campus USA status from the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation for their dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. The 29 schools recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation make up the initial Tree Campus USA class.
Tree Campus USA is a new national program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation and aims to honor colleges and universities that engage in best tree-care and sustainability practices. The launch of the Tree Campus USA program was supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
"We are proud to recognize the first 29 colleges and universities to be honored as a Tree Campus USA school," said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. "These schools have made a major commitment to protecting, caring for and adding to their campus forest, and the results of this commitment will have a lasting, positive impact not only on campus but in the overall community."
Colleges and universities who earned Tree Campus USA status were: Albany Technical College; Arizona State; California State University, Fresno; Creighton; Duke; Furman; Georgia Tech; Gwinnett Technical College; Illinois State; Indiana State; Indiana University Bloomington; Jackson State; Kent State; Macon State; Nebraska Wesleyan; Northern Kentucky; Northland College; Oregon State; Southeastern (N.C.) Community College; University of California, Davis; University of California, San Diego; University of Maryland; University of Michigan; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of North Texas; University of South Carolina Upstate; University of Texas, Austin; Virginia Tech; and Western Michigan.
Tree Campus USA is modeled after the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA program. Since its inception in 1976, Tree City USA has had a powerful impact resulting in more trees and better tree care in more than 3,300 communities nationwide.
Tree Campus USA creates opportunities for college campuses to work with the greater community through tree-care management practices. The program also provides a hands-on way for students to care for their local environment through tree-related events.
To receive Tree Campus USA recognition, schools are required to meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement. Those standards are: establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
"Connecting students with tree-planting opportunities on campus will create healthier communities for people to enjoy for generations to come," Rosenow said. "Tree Campus USA will teach students the many benefits trees provide our communities, and the students will leave school and go out and plant trees where they work and live."
The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota launched the Tree Campus USA program last fall by planting nearly 1,000 trees at nine college campuses throughout the nation.
More information about Tree Campus USA is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.