Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia recently earned the Tree Campus USA designation for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship, and was presented with a plaque by the Georgia Forestry Commission on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation on Feb. 24.
Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy management of campus forests and for engaging the community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation and is supported by a grant from Toyota.
“We appreciate the Tree Campus USA designation and recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Georgia Forestry Commission. This campus is one of America’s great historic treasures, both for the built and natural landscape which give it a rich character. The campus arboretum is a source of pride for us and this Tree Campus designation isa gratifying acknowledgement that our efforts are well worth the time and resources we devote to caring for the trees oncampus,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “UGA’s master plan calls for continued enhancement of our greenspace, and thus we are committed to good stewardship of those natural resources that enhance our campus.”
UGA recently completed a tree mapping project of the more than 6,000 tress on campus. The Select Sustainable Tree Trust has pledged to provide UGA with 700-1,000 additional trees over the next decade. Several hundred of those donated trees have already been planted around campus.
UGA met the five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. The standards are: establish 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.
“By encouraging its students to plant trees and participate in service that will help the environment, the University of Georgia is making a positive impact on its community that will last for decades,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “One goal of the Tree Campus USA program is to help create healthier communities for its citizens through the planting of trees, and the city of Athens will certainly benefit from the university’s commitment to Tree Campus USA.”
The Arbor Day Foundation launched Tree Campus USA in the fall of 2008 by planting trees at nine college campuses throughout the United States. Twenty-nine schools were named a Tree Campus USA in 2008, and in three years the number of schools has more than tripled.
For more information about the Tree Campus USA program, see www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.