Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Arbor Day Foundation officially named the University of West Georgia a Tree Campus USA supporter for the second year in a row. Created in 2008, Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities for engaging staff and students in conservation goals and effective forest management. Toyota helped to start the program and is continuing to support Tree Campus USA this year.
Universities must comply with five specific standards in order to be named a Tree Campus USA. These standards include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects. Students helped to plant trees at the UWG softball field in February for this year’s Arbor Day. A tree planting is also planned for Earth Day on April 22, 2013.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said John Rosenow, Founder and 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 all of us.”
Ten years ago, the UWG campus was designated as an arboretum. The university is currently developing a policy that manages the care, protection, and replacement of trees that are damaged or lost due to natural occurrences or new construction.
“Trees help beautify our community, improve air quality, protect our water ways, provide wildlife habitat, and offer educational opportunities for our students,” said UWG Landscape Superintendent James Hembree. “This recognition will inspire us to continue improving our campus, not only for the benefit of our students, faculty, and staff, but also for our greater community.”
Dr. Beheruz Sethna, President of UWG, agreed with James Hembree, “The benefits of a wooded campus are many and varied. In addition to what Mr. Hembree said, I am delighted at the very beauty of our campus. The University of West Georgia is known regionally and statewide for its beauty. Our trees and landscape are a critical part of that reputation.”
Colleges and universities involved in the Tree Campus USA program invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses nationwide plant hundreds of thousands of trees. More information about the program is available at www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa.
“Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a tremendous impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become the conservation leaders of the future,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.