FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2016
Arbor Day Foundation Honors University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign with 2015 Tree Campus USA® Recognition
CHAMPAIGN, IL – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was honored today with 2015 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to acknowledge colleges and universities for successful campus forest management initiatives and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Currently, only 10% of four-year, degree-granting campuses nationally have achieved this prestigious certification.
A Campus Tree Advisory Committee was established in 2015 to help seek this designation and act as an advisory body to Facilities & Services (F&S) whose Grounds department is responsible for the maintenance of more than 20,000 trees on campus.
Committee member Gary Kling, associate professor of horticulture in the Department of Crop Sciences, said, “The great diversity of trees on our campus is valuable to our students. This award recognizes our campus’ commitment to maintaining this cherished resource.”
News Release Tree Campus USA
The university achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, establishing a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual stewardship for its campus tree program, performing an Arbor Day observance, and developing a student service-learning project.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”
The university recognizes the importance of trees to the Urbana campus and community. F&S is committed to landscape improvement that includes the use of native plants, provides habitat for diverse wildlife species, sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, and positively influences human behavior.
Executive Director of F&S Al Stratman said “We take great pride as the caretakers of this magnificent campus, and I am very proud of students, faculty, and staff working together to support campus trees on a daily basis.”
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $36.8 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at: http://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa
The tree care plan for the university is available at: http://go.fs.illinois.edu/tree
In recognition of achieving the Tree Campus USA designation, the chancellor is proclaiming Friday, April 29, 2016 as a day of celebration. An Arbor Day event will occur on the Main Quad at noon. Please join Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo for the reading of the proclamation and sugar maple tree planting near Noyes Laboratory.
News Release Tree Campus USA PDF