Arbor Day Foundation recognizes Southern Utah University as a ‘Tree Campus USA’

SUU President Scott L Wyatt teaches students in the Jumpstart GE class about history during the fall semester, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University was recently honored with the 2015 “Tree Campus USA” recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for the university’s commitment to effective urban forest management.

The grounds department at SUU tends to over 1600 trees on campus, which was recently recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News
The grounds department at SUU tends to over 1600 trees on campus, which was recently recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” Arbor Day Foundation Chief Executive Matt Harris said. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

“Tree Campus USA” is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation. It honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

Southern Utah University achieved the title by meeting the program’s five standards including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.

“The ‘Tree Campus USA’ designation is important to SUU as it underscores our commitment to one of the key elements, which is traditionally considered a high-impact visual part of a campus – the trees,” Executive Director for Facilities Management Tiger Funk said. “The Arbor Day Foundation’s recognition of SUU’s efforts has validated the fact that our grounds department has been doing the right thing by investing in our tree inventory of over 1,600 trees on campus and managing the trees in a manner that is recognized as the industry’s best practices.”

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and “Tree Campus USA” colleges and universities invested more than $36.8 million in campus forest management last year. Currently there are 254 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

Trees benefit the university campus in many ways: including aesthetics, noise mitigation, CO2 consumption, shade for personal comfort, energy savings and erosion control, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News
Trees benefit the university campus in many ways: including aesthetics, noise mitigation, CO2 consumption, shade for personal comfort, energy savings and erosion control, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

Southern Utah University’s grounds staff and tree board have established a tree care plan that lays out how decisions related to the tree inventory will be made, Funks said, including tree care standards and future goals.

“By having this plan in place,” he said, “we are able to manage our inventory in a manner that has become a model worthy of the Arbor Day Foundation’s recognition.”

Trees benefit the university campus in many ways including aesthetics, noise mitigation, carbon dioxide consumption, shade for personal comfort, energy savings and erosion control.

“The large trees that we enjoy on campus didn’t just happen,” Funk said, “instead they are the result of many that came before us with a vision for the future of SUU.”

About the Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

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