Kent State University Recognized as a Tree Campus USA for 11 Consecutive Years; Kent State Today; April 18, 2019
What would Kent State University look like without its abundance of lush trees? Where would students tie their hammocks on a beautiful spring day if campus didn’t have sturdy trunks rising from the ground? Where would the signature black squirrels nestle for the night if the campus wasn’t speckled with forestry?
Kent State’s efforts to educate students and staff on conservation have not gone unnoticed.
Kent State has once again received recognition from Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program, for its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is now the 11th consecutive year that Kent State has been awarded this honor.
“We are always pleased to see students, faculty and staff enjoying their time outdoors amongst our trees,” said Michael Bruder, executive director of facilities, planning and design at Kent State and tree advisory board member. “It is an honor once again to have our team’s efforts recognized,”
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Tree Campus USA honors colleges and universities for “promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.”
To receive this recognition, Kent State met five core standards of effective campus forest management: having a tree advisory committee, having a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual spending for its campus tree program, observing Arbor Day and conducting a student service-learning project.
“The trees on the Kent State campus are a beautiful, defining characteristic of our historic campus landscape,” Mr. Bruder said. “The entire facilities group works incredibly hard to provide a lovely urban forest that is such an important part of our heritage.”
Currently, 364 colleges and universities across the country have earned the Tree Campus honor. Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in a statement, “Because of your school’s participation, air will be purer, water cleaner and your students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees. Kent State is one of the original 29 campuses to receive the first Tree Campus USA designation, and it has retained the Tree Campus USA status ever since.
Kent State will celebrate the designation along with its annual Arbor Day events that includes a tree planting for the residence hall who won RecycleMania, a campus-based sustainability and waste reduction initiative.
This year’s mid-sized hall winner, Centennial Court C and Centennial Court D, will be honored with a Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) that can live up to 150 years and grow to be 70 feet tall and 50 feet wide. This tree will be planted April 25 at 1 p.m. outside of Centennial Court D between the tables and the sand volleyball court.
This spring, the Kent State grounds crew will also be installing close to 50 trees on campus and adding 100 more saplings to the Climate Change Grove, just east of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Kent State continues to participate in arbor initiatives that allow trees and flora to thrive on and off campus.
For more information about the program, visit www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
WRITTEN BY: NATALIE EUSEBIO