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OHIO again honored with Tree Campus Higher Education recognition

Published: March 28, 2022 Author: Ellie Coldiron

Ohio University was honored by the Arbor Day Foundation for the sixth consecutive year with the 2021 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition for the University’s commitment to campus forest management.

The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its Tree Campus Higher Education program encourages colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses.

Trees on campus and in urban spaces can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees can improve students' mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses, and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.

"Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.”

OHIO achieved this distinction by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s 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.

“This program helps universities quantify their tree programs,” OHIO Landscape Coordinator Susan Calhoun said.

There is a detailed application that tracks every tree on campus, including how many trees are removed each year and the reason for removal, the educational programs conducted, and every expense affiliated with trees, including the cost of training, supplies, tree planting, tree care, tree maintenance, contractors, and in-house work. This brings accountability to universities and creates a focus on programming.

“Overall, our tree program is pretty high quality. I’m proud of our tree program. I think the look of our campus is a lot about our trees,” Calhoun said.