Ann Arbor campus certified as a Tree Campus USA
The ongoing efforts to plant trees and improve landscape have again earned U-M's Ann Arbor campus recognition as a Tree Campus USA institution by the Arbor Day Foundation.
"We are thrilled to receive this certification for the third consecutive year," says Marvin Pettway, U-M grounds senior supervisor. "Recognition from this national program is an honor and an acknowledgement to our long-standing efforts. Our goal is to create a balance between the university and its surrounding natural environment, while increasing community involvement in environmental stewardship on campus."
U-M was one of 74 colleges and universities out of more than 2,000 nationwide to achieve Tree Campus USA status in 2009. The Arbor Day Foundation will release the complete list for 2010 today.
In order to achieve Tree Campus USA status, universities must meet specific requirements, which include: effective management of campus trees, developing connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests, and engagement of students in campus and community forestry efforts.
Following the program requirements as a guide, Grounds and Waste Management staff collaborated with various departments and the North Campus Woodlot Conservancy student group to implement a Tree Care Plan supportive of U-M's commitment to urban forest management. The plan included various steps toward planting, maintaining the health and appearance, and removal of trees.
"Today we are taking the action to preserve the beauty of the Ann Arbor campus through its landscape, while at the same time playing a role in creating a healthier, more sustainable environment for the future," Pettway says. "I'm proud to be part of an organization that puts forth great care to maintain and preserve such an important piece of its environmental forestry.
With the addition of 303 trees planted in the past year, including one tree during the 2010 Arbor Day-Earth Day event at Northwood Community Apartments, the university has a total of nearly 14,000 campus trees. Not only will the campus look and feel greener, but students, faculty and staff will be surrounded by an environment that invites them to enjoy nature and "take a deep breath of fresh air," Pettway says.
The Tree Campus USA program was created through a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America Inc. to award recognition to college campuses and community leaders "for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship."