Ohio University

Ohio University designated 2019 Tree Campus USA

Published: September 16, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University has been designated as a “Tree Campus USA” location by the Arbor Day Foundation for the fourth year in a row.

The honor recognizes colleges and universities for promoting healthy trees and engaging students, faculty and staff in conservation efforts.

“While I deal with other aspects of landscaping and Grounds Department issues, I believe my work with trees is the most important and long-lasting contribution. The awesome trees on this campus have become part of the Ohio University’s ‘signature look,’” OHIO Landscape Coordinator Susan Calhoun said.

The thousands of trees on Athens Campus are managed by the University’s Grounds Department with support from the Office of Sustainability.

To obtain this distinction, institutions must meet five standards: establish a campus tree advisory committee, have a campus tree plan, dedicate annual expenditures for its tree program, observe Arbor Day, and conduct a service learning project.

Major initiatives at OHIO in 2019 included utilizing an Integrated Pest Management Plan that protected ash and hemlock trees from lethal insects, planting 138 new trees, hosting the 2019 Arbor Day Event and re-creating a campus tree tour.

The outdated College Green Tour map from 1991 was re-created virtually with tree GPS points that displays photos and informational details of the trees on campus, now named Ohio University Campus Tree Tour. The new virtual tour was completed through the efforts of a committee established by Professor and Department Chair Dr. Allan Showalter and Distinguished Professor Dr. Nancy Stevens.

Two people planting a tree
Two students planting a tree in 2019. Photo provided by Susan Calhoun

Calhoun noted that OHIO Spring 2019 graduate Meg Little contributed greatly to the 2019 efforts, as well as students Emily Mullins and Emma Little, and OHIO’s Sustainability staff. Calhoun was also very proud of her 2019 landscape students for planting 95 of the 138 trees that were planted.

“I enjoyed telling these students that when they bring their future children to Ohio University to get an education, there will be big, beautiful trees gracing the campus because of their efforts,” Calhoun said.

For 2020 and onward, Tree Campus USA will be recognized as Tree Campus Higher Education, to unify new recognition programs such as Tree Campus K-12 and Tree Campus Healthcare.

To learn more about OHIO’s sustainability efforts in being a Tree Campus USA, click here.