University receives tree campus USA® recognition


File Photo

The Main Quad at the University of Illinois.

By Michael Semaca

TWEET: University recognized for its “forest environment” #treehuggers

The University was recognized by Tree Campus USAIL RB for sustaining an on-campus forest environment.

The group, which is a part of the Arbor Day Foundation, announced its 2015 members April 7 and included the University for the first time.

The Arbor Day Foundation began recognizing universitiesIL in 2008 for effectively managing a campus forest environment and for implementing conservation measures.IL

The city of Urbana was a charter member of IL Tree City USA when the program began in 1972. Since then, Champaign has also been named a Tree City USA member, but the campus has not been honored until now.

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    “The UniversityIL is proud to join them in celebrating and protecting the campus trees through this recognition,” said Steven Breitwieser, Campus Manager of Communications and External RelationsIL . “We are pleased to be a part of that select group.”

    Nationally, only 10 percent of four-year degree-granting campuses are recognized as a Tree Campus USA member, he said.

    Breitwieser and University staff and students formed a Campus Tree Advisory Committee in 2015, which aimed to achieve this recognition. Much work went into earning this honor and meeting the requirements the Arbor Day Foundation had put forth.

    “There are five standards we needed to meet: create a tree advisory committee, establish a tree care plan, dedicate annual stewardship for its campus tree program, perform an Arbor Day observance and do a student service-learning project,” Breitwieser said.

    In response to the honor, Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson has proclaimed April 29 as a day of celebration.

    Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo will be reading a proclamation and planting a sugar maple tree near Noyes Laboratory at noon.

    “This is a very exciting honor for our campus that exemplifies Illinois’ commitment to its land-grant university mission,” Breitwieser said.

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