Hitting the tree-fecta
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The Arbor Day Foundation has named the University of Iowa a 2011 Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management.
Tree-planting teams keep the UI campus green and growing.
The UI was Iowa's first Tree Campus USA institution. This is the third year the university has earned the designation, which requires meeting five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and sponsorship for student service-learning projects.
“Our trees are not only beautiful but serve to purify and cool the air, protect our soil, and absorb carbon dioxide," says Liz Christiansen, director of the university's Office of Sustainability. "UI students help us maintain this designation by helping to plant trees on campus."
The Facilities Management Landscape Services team of Shawn Fitzpatrick (landscape services supervisor and certified arborist), Andy Dahl (certified arborist and municipal specialist), Mike Rhinehart (certified arborist), Alan Allgood (certified arborist and tree trimmer), and Tom Moore (tree trimmer) maintains more than 7,700 trees on the main campus and the UI Research Park, and typically plants more than 300 trees each year. The group will accept the award in Des Moines on April 17.
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Tree Campus USA is supported by a grant from Toyota.
“Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis on well-maintained and healthy trees so important,” says John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Achieving Tree Campus USA recognition sets an example for other colleges and universities and allows students a chance to give back to both their campus community and the community at-large.”