The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh was honored with a 2016 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
UW Oshkosh has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA since 2010. At UW Oshkosh, there are nearly 50 species of trees throughout the 173.5-acre campus.
Currently, there are 296 campuses across the United States that earned the Tree Campus USA designation.
Tree Campus USA is a national program, which was created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
“Trees have played an important role in American history both for their part in the development of a young and expanding country and later in the growth of an American conservation ethic. Today trees and forests are highly valued for far more than the money they can fetch as timber,” said Brian Kermath, UW Oshkosh sustainability director.
“In dollar terms, our nation’s national forests, for example, are more valuable for their provisioning of fresh water than for wood. Real estate in urban and developed areas is worth more with trees than without. Planted wisely, trees can reduce heating bills by serving as wind breaks around buildings, and they can reduce cooling bills by shading properties and through the effects of evaporative cooling. Fruit trees can provide human food and essentially all trees can help sustain wildlife with nourishment and cover,” Kermath said.
UW Oshkosh achieved the recognition by meeting five standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program and an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.