Centre College was recently named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the third year in a row.
Created in 2008, Tree Campus USA honors colleges and universities across the United States for engaging their campus communities in conservation goals and for effective campus forest management.Toyota helped launch the program and continues to support it each year.
“It is quite an honor for Centre College to be named a Tree Campus USA,” says First Lady Susie Roush, an ardent supporter of campus forest maintenance at Centre. “It makes a clear statement about the priority Centre places on the value of natural beauty and the wellbeing of the environment.”
To be named a Tree Campus USA, Centre met five required standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee, as well as a care plan for trees on campus; dedicating annual expenditures towards tree care; observing Arbor Day; and supporting student service-learning projects.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said John Rosenow, founder and 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 all of us.”
Centre is entirely dedicated to the many trees on campus—some of which predate the founding of the College.
“In a most deliberate and focused manner, Centre College values, maintains and replenishes our campus forest,” Roush says. “Our older, mature trees have connected each forthcoming generation to the past and, likewise, the young trees planted connect ‘Today’s Centre’ to future generations of students and citizens.”
Trees—and efforts to protect and replant them—spring up continuously at Centre. Earlier this year, trustee David Grissom and his wife, Marlene, made a gift of $500,000 to create the Susie Roush Campus Beautification Fund in honor of Roush to enhance Centre’s landscaping—and with the particular goal of acquiring and maintaining deciduous trees throughout campus.
Three American Beech saplings, donated to the College by Grissom, were planted in front of Young Hall last year to replace the beloved American Beech tree that stood there for decades until its death in 2011.Trees were planted in front of the Guest Cottage in 2011 to replace a dogwood lost in the ice storm of 2009, and in 2012, trees were also planted to replace those similarly lost along St. Mildred’s Court.
Centre students, faculty and staff remain dedicated to a variety of environmental and sustainability efforts year-round. To read more about them, visit the sustainability homepage here.
The Arbor Day Foundation—a nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees—has, with the help of Toyota, assisted schools across the country in planting thousands of trees. Last year alone, Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested over $20 million in campus forest management.
By Elizabeth Trollinger