Centre College was honored with 2015 Tree Campus USA® recognition for the 6th year in a row by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Tree Campus USA is a national program 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. Centre achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, establishing a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, holding an Arbor Day observance and employing a student service-learning project. Currently there are 254 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
“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.”
First Lady Susie Roush, an ardent arborist and advocate for Centre’s urban forest, has participated in many different tree-related activities on campus, though she says she is “just one small piece of a larger group of people associated with Centre who love and care for our trees—old and new.”
In recognition of her tireless efforts, 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.
Centre’s campus is also home to numerous trees given as gifts by alumni, including David Ray ’59 and John Barton ’79. In 2013, alumni Ed and Judy Stanley donated three bur oaks to the College that they started from acorns. Roush is particularly grateful to John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry Preston Miles for his leading role in securing the College’s multiple Tree Campus USA designations.
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.
by Cindy Long
February 23, 2016