University of Mount Union Named Tree Campus USA
March 09, 2011
The University of Mount Union recently earned Tree Campus USA recognition for 2010 for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. This is the first year Mount Union has been named a Tree Campus USA.
Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy management of their 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 (Mount Union) are very proud to have received this prestigious acknowledgment,” said Blaine Lewis, director of the physical plant at Mount Union. “We take great pride in incorporating sustainable practices into everything we do at the University and this is truly a testament to our efforts. We plan to work hard each year to maintain this recognition.”
Mike Bondini, grounds supervisor and Dr. Charles McClaugherty, professor of biology at Mount Union, co-director of environmental science and director of the John T. Huston-Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center, served as team leaders in the application process.
“By encouraging its students to plant trees and participate in service that will help the environment, Mount Union 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 Alliance will certainly benefit from Mount Union’s commitment to Tree Campus USA.”
Mount Union met the five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. The standards are: the establishment of 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.
In Mount Union’s award notification letter, Rosenow reiterated the benefits trees have on a college campus. “Trees in urban areas, and especially on campuses, reduce the heat island effect caused by pavement and buildings. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particles. Properly placed trees create a welcoming environment that makes students, administration and alumni want to be a part of the campus,” Rosenow said.
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, visit www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.