Centre College’s commitment to beautification and effective urban forest management has been acknowledged yet again with a 2018 Tree Campus USA® recognition for the 8th year in a row by the Arbor Day Foundation.
“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. Centre achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, having a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, observing Arbor Day and supporting student service-learning projects. Currently there are 364 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry Preston Miles, and environmentalist of the first order, has been responsible for making sure Centre’s check-list for the Arbor Day Foundation is complete.
Through the foundation and being recognized as a Tree Campus USA, “we learn something about tree management,” Miles said. “Even if we weren’t a Tree Campus, we would keep up the trees, but this does give us some motivation.”
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and TreeCampusUSA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year.
First Lady Susie Roush is an ardent arborist and advocate for Centre’s urban forest. In recognition of her tireless efforts, life trustee David Grissom and his wife, Marlene, made a generous gift of $500,000 in 2012 to create an endowment in Susie’s honor called the Susie Roush Campus Beautification Fund. Income from the endowment is used to enhance campus landscaping, with special emphasis on acquiring and maintaining deciduous trees. In addition, Trustee John Barton has enabled Centre, through personal connections, to get valuable advice from numerous tree experts.
After the ice storm in 2009, Centre lost nearly 100 trees. According to Director of Student Life and Housing Ann Young, the College has been strategically replacing the lost trees yearly.
In recent years, the Hope Springs Fund that comes from the year-end campus garage sale after Commencement, as well as the Snowy Owl Foundation, have granted funds for the planting of the new trees on campus.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. The foundation has assisted schools across the country in planting thousands of trees.
Learn more about how Centre students, faculty and staff remain dedicated to a variety of environmental and sustainability efforts year-round.
by Cindy Long
February 18, 2019