Mount Union Named 2011 Tree Campus USA
April 05, 2012
ALLIANCE, Ohio — For the second year in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized the University of Mount Union as a 2011 Tree Campus USA University in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management.
The University achieved the designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
Dr. Charles McClaugherty, professor of biology, co-director of the environmental science program and director of the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center at Mount Union, has worked with the University’s Physical Plant to help Mount Union reach these standards. Several years ago, McClaugherty said, the Arbor Day Foundation began developing a program that focuses on campuses providing quality green space.
“It seemed like it should be something we could and should pursue because we do have a beautiful campus and lots of trees,” McClaugherty said. “One thing I often hear is how beautiful the campus is. One of the things that makes it so pretty is not only the number of trees we have but the variety. It’s taken a lot of people over the years to create what we have today.”
Jim Rhodes, assistant director of physical plant at Mount Union, filled out the application for Tree Campus USA and gathered information on what the University has done during the past year to be considered a candidate for the honor, including the planting of 127 new trees last year. According to Rhodes, the University does a number of additional things each day to help Mount Union become more sustainable. These tasks include planting trees; replacing old windows and installing high-efficient furnaces, room light sensors, astronomical timers for outdoor lighting and more efficient light bulbs.
“I think receiving this award for the second straight year sends a message to the Mount Union and Alliance communities that we will continue to work hard to continue this program and to lead by example,” Rhodes said.
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.
“Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis on well-maintained and healthy trees so important,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Achieving Tree Campus USA recognition sets an example for other colleges and universities and allows students a chance to give back to both their campus community and the community at large.”
During 2011, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota helped campuses throughout the country plant 30,000 trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities have invested more than $22 million in campus forest management.
“I’m just thrilled that we continue to take care of the trees we have and as we develop, that we continue to put trees in the landscape and take care of them,” McClaugherty said. “I think it’s important that we recognize that people have been involved in doing this for decades — it didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a continual effort from generation to generation to create what we have, which leaves it up to us to pass that on.”
For more information about the Tree Campus USA program, see arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.