Orlando, Florida (March 29, 2012) – Valencia College was granted 100 trees and the coveted Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation this morning, in celebration of the university's commitment to tree care and sustainability. This is the first year of Tree City USA recognition for Valencia College.
Valencia College is one of 13 Tree Campus USA participants hosting a tree-planting during the spring of 2012 and one of seven with an event co-sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, or AASHE.
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. The program is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
Following the West Campus ceremony hosted by the Foundation, Valencia College and the Florida Forest Service, students, staff and volunteers will plant a variety of trees in four parts of campus:
• Winged elm and Southern red cedar trees will be planted on the southern and western sides of buildings to reduce energy use;
• Longleaf pine trees will be planted in the open fields near Kirkman Road for sandhill restoration;
• Southern slash pines will provide screening and habitat near the south entry road to the college;
• And, a wide variety of native trees will be planted in the arboretum area near Lake Pamela, for education use
"We at Valencia are deeply honored to have been named a Tree Campus USA and to have been chosen to receive such a generous donation from the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota," said Dr. Sanford Shugart, Valencia College president. "We take seriously our goal of educating the whole student and we believe that includes teaching our students to be stewards of the environment."
Valencia College achieved Tree Campus USA designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
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.