StetsonU is a Tree Campus USA
The Arbor Day Foundation has named Stetson University a 2011 Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management. This is the first year of recognition for Stetson University.
Stetson 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.
The honor will be presented at Stetson’s Arbor Day Celebration at3 p.m.Friday, April 27, on the steps of the Carlton Union Building, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. The public is invited to the Arbor Day Celebration, which will include the planting of a tree on campus. Tree Campus USA representative Elizabeth Harkey, urban forester with the City of Sanford, will be a guest speaker, and Stetson President Wendy B. Libby will also make remarks.
“A healthy, mature tree canopy is a prominent feature of the landscape on the Stetson campus, as well as within the city of DeLand, which has been designated a Tree City USA for 23 years,” said Dr. Cynthia Bennington, Stetson associate professor of biology and co-coordinator of the effort along with representatives from Stetson’s Streets and Grounds Department and the Gillespie Museum.
“Stetson has a long history of a commitment to having a tree canopy, and we were already meeting the requirements for the Tree Campus USA designation,” Bennington said. “So it was a natural fit.”
Stetson has had a native tree policy since 2002 and has about 65-percent canopy coverage. The university’s students and surrounding community have been involved in campus tree-planting efforts for more than 15 years. In 2011, about 600 trees were planted on campus.
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. More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.