Tree Campus USA® is now in its 6th year with 237 campuses
Baton Rouge, La. (October 16, 2014) - Southern University celebrated receiving Tree Campus USA® recognition today with the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota by planting trees during a hands-on volunteer event.
"Southern University is excited to be designated as a Tree Campus USA," said Flandus McClinton, acting Chancellor of Southern University. "This designation is the result of hard work by our Urban Forestry program along with our strong collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service to inspire our students to understand the significance of a green environment."
"On behalf of Toyota, I congratulate the students at Southern University who helped their school earn the prestigious Tree Campus USA recognition," said Latondra Newton, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Toyota Motor North America. "We are inspired by your dedication to creating a greener campus and are proud to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation on the Tree Campus USA program and help support the next generation of environmental leaders."
The celebration also included an educational panel on how trees can help address challenging environmental justice issues. For example, planting fruit and nut trees helps to provide communities with adequate access to healthy, fresh food. Trees also provide environmental benefits, such as clean air and clean water. An abundance of research indicates that planting trees reduces crime and increases property value.
Southern University is a USDA/1890 Land Grant Institution. The mission of the USDA/1890 Program is to attract students into careers in agriculture and related fields; share expertise and resources in areas such as agricultural research, extension and teaching programs, technology development, limited-resource farmers and minority farmer programs, and rural development programs; and to increase the involvement of the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions in the delivery of USDA programs.
The Forest Service relationship with Southern University began in 1991, establishing a partnership to launch the nation's first Urban Forestry degree program.
"The Tree Campus USA program is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the benefits of trees in our communities – clean air, clean water and quality of life," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "The Forest Service is proud to help support Southern University's urban forestry training program, and I know this recognition is well deserved."
Tree Campus USA® is a national campaign leading the way in recruiting and training environmental leaders to support forward-thinking sustainable campus communities.
"Students throughout the country are looking for opportunities to contribute to their campus community and become better environmental stewards," said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Tree Campus USA provides students that opportunity and sets a terrific example for other colleges and universities."
Each year, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota sponsor tree plantings on college and university grounds throughout the country.
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 conservation. Tree Campus USA is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
Tree Campus USA recognition is awarded to colleges and universities that meet five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures to their campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects. All of these standards have the ultimate goals of reducing the footprint of college campuses and inspiring a lifelong passion for protecting the environment in today's college students.
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), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. To date, Toyota has contributed more than $700 million to nonprofits in the U.S. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com/usa.
About Southern University: Southern is a 6,300-student, historically black university in Baton Rouge, La. The 134-year-old institution has produced 10 military generals, Fortune 500 company executives, scientists, lawyers, physicians, and professional athletes. The marching band is considered one of top in the nation. The school's most popular areas of study are engineering, nursing, business, education, political science and the sciences. To find out more, visit www.subr.edu.