The Arbor Day Foundation has honored Indiana University Bloomington as a Tree Campus USA University for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.
"The Tree Campus USA program will have a lasting impact at Indiana University and throughout the country because it will engage students and local citizens to plant trees and create healthier communities for people to enjoy for generations to come," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Indiana University will benefit from better tree-care practices on campus, and it will help connect the university with tree-care professionals in their community to improve the tree canopy in Bloomington."
Tree Campus USA, a new national program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and the leaders of the campus and surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a $750,000 grant from Toyota.
"Throughout its history, our campus has placed a high priority on the preservation of its trees and green spaces," said Karen Hanson, IU Bloomington provost and executive vice president. "From the undisturbed wilderness of Dunn's Woods to the living laboratory that is the IU Research and Teaching Preserve, our wooded areas enhance the quality of life for members of the campus community. We're honored to receive this recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation."
Indiana University met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are: establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
The project builds upon extensive work by IU Landscape Architect Mia Williams and the campus Sustainability Task Force. The work of three sustainability interns, Brandon Schmitt, Rich Thurau and Scott Byrne, has led to the development of an extensive Geographical Information System (GIS) database of trees on the IU Bloomington campus. This database has provided critical information for the campus tree-care plan. In addition, this data set helps catalog the significant contribution of IU's tree population to the improvement of both IU's 'carbon footprint' and the quality of life of IU's faculty, students, and staff. Additional information on the sustainability interns' projects can be found at http://www.indiana.edu/~sustain.
"This recognition for Indiana University represents decades of tree stewardship on campus, and more importantly, a dedication to the future of our woodland campus," said Burney Fischer, clinical professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, who serves on the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA Advisory Board. "Former IU president Herman B Wells established the university's philosophy of forest stewardship, declaring that scholarship and learning are nurtured by the campus' natural woodland setting. IU is situated within Bloomington, the oldest Tree City USA in Indiana, and the city and university have and will continue to partner for research and stewardship of the urban forest."
The Arbor Day Foundation launched Tree Campus USA in the fall of 2008 by planting trees at nine college campuses throughout the United States. More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.