University named Tree Campus USA
For the fourth year in a row, the University of Rochester has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. The program recognizes college campuses that have made a commitment to effective urban forest management by planting, preserving, and protecting tree resources and that engage staff, students, and the community in conservation goals.
To become a Tree Campus, the University must maintain five standards – have a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project. This past year, Dan Schied, manager of Horticulture and Grounds, gave several “tree tours” around campus, as well as lead two new tree planting ceremonies with students on campus in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day.
The University strives to connect the community with its tree planting efforts. By joining forces with the broader forestry community, the University has been able to enrich its efforts in sustainability.
Across the country, almost 2.5 million students live on Tree Campuses at over 200 schools. Since 2008, when Tree Campus USA was established, over 111,000 trees have been planted. Also, over 82 million dollars have been spent by campuses for tree planting, care, and management since 2008.
This coming year, the Horticulture and Grounds department plans to take tree planting initiatives a step further by using compost from organic material collected at the University dining facilities to plant a new tree. The compost will be tested first to ensure quality.
Schied looks forward to continuing to meet the five standards set by Tree Campus USA. “This is a University wide involvement, but without the students, there wouldn’t be Tree Campus USA.”
Written by Lauren Henry, Class of 2014