Kent State Receives Tree Campus USA Recognition for Eighth Consecutive Year
Kent State University has earned its eighth consecutive recognition from Tree Campus USA, a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
Heather White, grounds manager at University Facilities Management at Kent State, says the grounds department is proud of the continued recognition, as it shows the university’s dedication to the community’s green infrastructure.
“We recognize that we are one of the first impressions of campus for prospective parents and students,” White says. “It shows the university’s commitment to maintaining and improving the campus in terms of its canopy cover. It shows our commitment year after year that we set a pretty high standard for ourselves, and that we’re able to keep doing it.”
Kent State achieved this distinction by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program and an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
Kent State’s Tree Advisory Committee includes representation from students, faculty, facilities management and the community.
Chris Carlson, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kent State University at Salem and member of the Tree Advisory Committee, says the importance of the Tree Campus USA recognition extends beyond the Kent State campuses.
“Trees can grow without our help, but with our help they’ll not only survive, they’re going to thrive,” Carlson says. “That means that properly placed and maintained trees will enhance the values of our properties, the beauty of our campuses, and the beauty of our cities and our towns. And it’s a direct reflection, in my mind, of being able to proudly wave that Tree Campus USA flag. It shows whether or not that community or that campus is proactive and environmentally conscious.”