By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Arbor Day Foundation once again has honored Oklahoma City University with Tree Campus USA recognition for 2018. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes colleges and universities for effective urban forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
Tree Campus USA recognition is based on five standards; 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. Oklahoma City University met all of the standards.
“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities, showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Because of the school’s participation air will be purer, water cleaner and students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”
Arbor Day is an annual observance dedicated to public tree planting and care. National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. All fifty states, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories have passed legislation adopting Arbor Day. It is celebrated on a date appropriate for tree planting in their region. In Oklahoma Arbor Day is celebrated the last full week in March.
“Oklahoma City University is committed to maintaining a park-like campus within our urban setting,” said OKCU President Martha Burger. “Our trees and overall landscaping efforts help beautify our community and provide educational benefits for our students.”
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year.
With over 13,700 active Arbor Day Foundation members, Oklahomans have planted more than 135,000 trees across the state.
“When you join the Arbor Day Foundation they send you 10 little seedling trees so with that many active members it’s possible that over 135,000 trees have been planted,” said Mark Bays, Urban Forestry Coordinator for the Oklahoma Forestry Services.
“The Arbor Day Foundation also recognizes cities, towns college campuses and even utility companies that do a great job of caring for trees,” Bays added. “As a matter of fact, around 43 percent of Oklahoman’s live in a city or town that is designated as a Tree City USA.
As part of the Foundation’s Trees for America program for a fee of only $10, new members of the Arbor Day Foundation can choose to receive ten free trees. Join online here.
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.
For more information about the Tree Campus program, visit arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA. To learn more, visit arborday.org.