Heather White, Vice President Gregg Floyd and Tom Euclid accept Kent Stateâ€™s designation as an official Tree Campus, during an Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony beside Engleman Hall.
Kent State had to meet five standards: maintain a tree advisory committee, develop a campus tree-care plan, dedicate annual expenditures toward trees, host Arbor Day observances and have student service-learning projects.
â€œLong before the Tree Campus USA recognition started, Kent State already had a long commitment to preserving the sylvan character of campus, including maintaining and replacing trees as necessary,â€ said Heather White, grounds manager of University Facilities Management at Kent State.
For a student service-learning project, White worked with an urban forestry class and its professor to inventory trees and build a database. Students were trained to use GPS and were sent out to collect data about tree identification.
When the Arbor Day Foundation initiated Tree Campus USA, it had key components of what a tree advisory committee should be, White said. The recommendations included having a local arborist, as well as involvement from students and faculty.
Kent Stateâ€™s tree advisory committee consists of eight to 10 members. The committee is open to anyone, but it is geared toward biology majors. The committee works with people who show an interest in green initiatives and sustainability from the Net Impact group on campus.
â€œAs the Tree Campus USA award becomes much more recognizable nationally, it will demonstrate that Kent State has a long commitment to maintaining infrastructure of the land,â€ White said.
Toyota helped launch Tree Campus USA, and it continues to be a generous financial supporter. Throughout the country, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses plant hundreds of thousands of trees.
More information about this program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.