The Arbor Day Foundation has honored Moraine Valley Community College as a 2011 Tree Campus USA college for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. This is the third consecutive year the college has been recognized.
“Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis on well-maintained and healthy trees so important,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Achieving Tree Campus USA recognition sets an example for other colleges and universities and allows students a chance to give back to both their campus community and the community at large.”
Tree Campus USA is a national program launched in 2008, when 29 colleges were inaugurated, by the Arbor Day Foundation. The program honors colleges, universities and leaders of the campus and surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management while engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a grant from Toyota. Moraine Valley is the third college or university in Illinois and the first community college in the state to be named a Tree Campus USA college.
Moraine Valley met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards include establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
“We are thrilled that our efforts are being recognized! Moraine Valley has always held the aesthetics of our campus grounds to very high standards, and that means ensuring our trees are healthy and plentiful, too,” said Stephenie Presseller, Moraine Valley sustainability manager. “We met the five core standards, and we’re working towards improving the environment and the quality of life in our community as we build and maintain our healthy, urban tree canopy. This is just one more way the college is leading the charge for a sustainable, healthy future for all.”
During 2011, the Arbor Foundation and Toyota helped campuses across the country plant 30,000 trees. More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.