UI and its Landscape Services Tree Crew honored with 2016 Tree Campus USA award

UI and its Landscape Services Tree Crew honored with 2016 Tree Campus USA award

The University of Iowa and the Landscape Services Tree Crew were recently honored with the 2016 Tree Campus USA award at the 27th Annual Community Forestry Awards Luncheon in Des Moines. The UI is one of only five Tree Campus USA award winners in Iowa. This is the eighth year in a row that the UI tree crew has received this honor.

To earn the award, a campus must at a minimum have a campus tree advisory committee, a tree care plan, a tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, an annual Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project to engage the student body.

“The Tree Campus USA award is a symbol for universities and colleges who continually strive to educate and engage their students and surrounding community about the benefits of trees and exhibit excellence in their tree management,” says State Forester Paul Tauke. “The University of Iowa has provided an outstanding example for other Iowa colleges and universities by enhancing our forest resources and demonstrating the great value of trees in providing multiple benefits for future generations.”

The Facilities Management Tree Crew includes:

  • Shawn Fitzpatrick, supervisor, Landscape Services, and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)–certified arborist
  • Mike Rhinehart, supervisor, Landscape Services, and ISA-certified arborist
  • Andy Dahl, UI arborist and ISA-certified arborist/municipal specialist
  • Alan Allgood, UI tree trimmer and ISA-certified arborist
  • Kent George, UI tree trimmer

This team maintains more than 7,700 trees on the main campus and the UI Research Park, and typically plants more than 300 trees each year.

At the same awards banquet, Rhinehart was honored as Outstanding Professional by the Iowa Urban Tree Council. He and the other campus arborists are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and removal of trees. Rhinehart has performed quality work implementing the latest tree care guidelines and promoting safety measures and training. In 2009, Rhinehart and the tree crew fulfilled the requirements for the Tree Campus USA recognition, making the University of Iowa the first college in the state to attain this distinction. Rhinehart also took the lead with the university’s online tree inventory system.

“Mike Rhinehart is an outstanding example of an Iowa forestry professional,” Tauke says. “His dedication will benefit the University of Iowa campus and enhance forest resources for future generations.”