The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the University of Mary Washington as a 2016 Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is the second consecutive year the University has received the Tree Campus USA designation.
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.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, UMW fulfilled five core standards to achieve this distinction, including 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.
At UMW’s Arbor Day event in the fall, President Troy Paino was presented with the official Tree Campus USA designation The UMW Ecology Club and UMW Eco Reps along with the Fredericksburg Tree Stewards, Friends of the Rappahannock, Tree Fredericksburg and other groups provided education and outreach.
“The Arbor Day cookout was a reduced waste event featuring foods that did not require plates, and everyone was encouraged to bring their own cup,” said Joni Wilson, UMW director of landscape and grounds. “We had food for 350 and used no plates and only three plastic cups!”
The extensive network of walkways at UMW enhances the opportunity to view specimens featuring 300-year-old oaks and a variety of hardwood, evergreen and flowering trees from Amur cork tree to Zelkova, according to Wilson.
Currently 254 college campuses across the U.S. and only four in Virginia have earned this recognition, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.
“I have given countless tree walks to various community groups and students,” Wilson said. “The more people know and understand trees, the more likely they are to value them and understand the trees’ importance to all human existence.”
More information about The Arbor Day Foundation and Tree Campus USA program can be found at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.