University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has been honored with 2018 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. The campus has been awarded the honor consecutively since 2010. It is just one of 364 college campuses across the United States with this recognition for 2018.
“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Because of your school’s participation, air will be purer, water cleaner and your students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. UW Oshkosh achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include 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.
Brian Kermath, University sustainability director, said UW Oshkosh has an “enduring commitment” to sustainability.
“Our landscapes are expressions of our culture,” he said. “How we procure food, recreate and manage urban areas, for example, all have landscape expressions that reveal our worldviews, values and past judgments. When biodiversity and natural heritage matter more deeply to us, we will see our urban landscapes with more ecologically complex assemblages of native plants that are more wildlife friendly and reliant on natural processes than the ecologically simple, capital intensive and environmentally toxic industrial landscapes we consume everywhere today.”
Kermath said trees are planted every year at UW Oshkosh, but he notes some too, are lost every year.
“Through a student Green Fund project, we will be planting a dozen or so heirloom fruit trees this spring, adding not only to the trees on campus but also to promoting a sense of cultural and natural heritage in the landscaping,” he said.
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees and it notes that Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year.