Tampa, Florida (April 20, 2012) – Students and staff at the University of South Florida planted 50 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation this morning, in celebration of the university's commitment to improving tree care and sustainability and for working toward Tree Campus USA status.
The volunteer effort at the University of South Florida is among 13 tree planting events sponsored by the Foundation and Toyota during the spring of 2012, six of them being held in partnership with the historically black Greek organizations Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The events sponsored by the historically black Greek organizations are part of an aggressive campaign to spark conservation and prepare schools for Tree Campus USA recognition in 2012.
Today, a total of 300 trees were planted by volunteers at USF, with 50 Cypress trees granted by the Foundation and Toyota, and the remaining 250 donated by Huntsman Trees. Fifteen of the Cypress trees were planted near the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, the university's first LEED gold building. The rest were planted in three groups around campus in need of shade and to contribute to carbon sequestration. One group of trees was dedicated to USF President Judy Genshaft for her stewardship of campus sustainability. Another group was planted in memory of Barbara Wilcox, the wife of Provost Ralph Wilcox, who recently passed away. The third group was planted in appreciation of Arbor Day, Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha. Each group of trees will be marked with a permanent plaque to recognize these individuals and organizations.
"Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the University of South Florida's event exciting for everyone involved," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Working together to plant trees and beautify campuses helps grow the next generation of conservation leaders."
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
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.
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 http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.