UNC Charlotte was honored with 2016 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Tree Campus USA is 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. There are 296 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”
UNC Charlotte achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include 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 projects.
According to Peter Franz, University landscape architect and chairperson of the campus’ tree advisory committee, the University “maintains an aesthetic that balances new construction and renovations needed to meet our growing student body with a landscape design that incorporates native trees and other biodiversity across campus.”
In accordance with other aspects of the Tree Campus USA designation, university goals includes continual mapping, planting, and labeling of trees on campus; developing educational opportunities involving our natural landscape, and bringing local experts to campus to discuss urban forestry.
“Although over half of our 1,000 acre campus remains undeveloped and wooded, the purposeful inclusion of trees into our developing campus remains a priority,” noted Franz.
In April, the campus will celebrate Earth Month with several hands-on and educational opportunities, which are currently being planned.
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46.7 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.