University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has again captured Tree Campus USA designation—one of just 344 campuses across the country with the recognition.
The announcement, noting UW Oshkosh’s commitment to effective urban forest management, was made by the Arbor Day Foundation.
“If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time,” said Lauren Weyers, program coordinator of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is stepping up do do its part. As a result of your commitment to effective urban forest management, you are helping to provide a solution to these global challenges.”
UW Oshkosh has an “enduring commitment” to sustainability, especially as seen in its operations, said Brian Kermath, University sustainability director. “Because college landscapes are highly visible symbols of our relationship with nature, making them more sustainable would go far to foster an ecocentric ethic and encourage more sustainable living in the larger community.”
Kermath said there are approximately 1,520 trees of about 50 species on UW Oshkosh’s 173.5-acre campus.
UWO achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee; creating a campus tree-care plan; dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program; and hosting an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging students and staff 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.”
Kermath stressed that UW Oshkosh grounds staff takes great pride in maintaining the University’s landscapes and has been working to apply environmentally sensitive pest management practices.
Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $48 million in campus forest management last year.
UW Oshkosh typically holds tree-planting events in conjunction with Earth Week celebrations. Crews planted 20 trees to kick off the week in 2017 and improve the campus landscape.