Tree canopy is a critical component of community health infrastructure — but urban tree cover is shrinking, and its health benefits are not often equitably distributed. The Tree Campus Healthcare program recognizes health institutions that make a mission-aligned impact on community wellness through tree education, investment, and community engagement.
Health Challenges, Green Solutions
Flip each health challenge’s card to see how trees offer a solution.
To receive recognition each year, a healthcare facility must fulfill five standards:
Unitea mission-focused team
Planfor trees on your campus
Leada community tree project
Educateabout trees and health
Investin community trees
Standard 1: Advisory Committee
Each qualifying facility or campus will have an Advisory Committee with at least three members, from among the following groups: healthcare providers, facility or grounds managers, administrators, patient advocates, residents, and community forestry advocates or officials.Learn More
Standard 2: Facility Tree Care Plan
Qualifying plans will set policies that govern management practices, both for staff and contractors. For facilities with little or no space for trees on their own property due to site restrictions, facilities may adopt the street, boulevard, or park trees near or adjacent to the campus.Learn More
Standard 3: Community Forestry Project
The facility will lead one or more community forestry projects during the year, including tree planting, tree maintenance, tree inventory, tree monitoring, or other practices in the community. Activities may occur on private or public property, and involve either employees or volunteers, so long as community residents benefit from the project.Learn More
Standard 4: Celebrate & Educate
The facility will sponsor at least one celebration event—such as Arbor Day—or an awareness campaign that highlights the connection between trees, nature, and human health.Learn More
Standard 5: Financial Investment
The suggested annual financial investment towards implementation of the facility tree care plan, tree projects, education events, and community outreach by the facility is $2 per employee (Full-Time Equivalent), either as cash or in-kind contribution, or in combination.Learn More
A Commitment Throughout the Industry
Healthcare facilities across the country are stepping up to improve the tree canopy — and overall wellness of residents — on their campus and in the communities they serve.
It is our business to be talking trees and health. As leaders in healthcare in East Texas, we need to be responsible for everything we take care of — it falls within our mission.Aaron Martinez, Certified Grounds Manager, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System
We ultimately are trying to impact the health of the population that we serve. We also want to inspire others to follow us since improving air quality, reducing carbon pollution, and improving water quality benefits everyone and can be accomplished through tree planting.Jon Utech, Senior Director, Office for a Healthy Environment, Cleveland Clinic
Everything we do is for our residents and our community. Trees impact safety, beauty, quality of life … our residents, employees, and the public benefit when we invest in community trees.Donna Hibbs, Vice President of Grounds and Landscaping, Masonic Homes of Kentucky
The following networks and resources provide opportunities to collaborate with other community stakeholders and learn more about the case for community trees and their impact on health.
- Tree City USA
More than 3,500 recognized Tree City USA communities prioritize trees as critical infrastructure. Through this network, health institutions can partner with community forestry leadership to plant, nurture, and celebrate community trees.
Learn more here
- Alliance for Community Trees
Alliance for Community Trees is a network of community-based organizations dedicated to improving their communities through trees. This network can be a resource for local volunteer opportunities, community tree projects, and more.
Learn more here
- Tree Campus USA
Tree Campus USA colleges and universities meet program standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement, including an annual service learning project and Arbor Day celebration which may provide opportunities for collaboration.
Learn more here
- Tree City USA Bulletin, January/February 2019: "What Is The Urban Forest?" provides a short primer on the definition of and stakeholders in an urban forest.
- The Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening research collection contains many professional and peer-reviewed publications and fact sheets on the connection between trees and human health.
- Vibrant Cities Lab merges the latest research with best practices for implementing green infrastructure projects in your community. Find case studies and research on trees and human health here.
- Urban Nature for Human Health and Well-Being is a research summary for communicating the health benefits of urban trees and green space.