Indiana University Northwest was honored with 2019 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
“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 IU Northwest’s participation, air will be purer, water cleaner and the campus community 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. IU Northwest achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining 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. Currently there are 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
Professor of Geosciences Erin Argyilan, who led the effort to achieve the status for the campus, heaped praise upon campus volunteers who maintain a commitment to the campus’s tree health.
“Last April, more than 150 IU Northwest volunteers came together with the Student Conservation Association and CommuniTree to plant over 70 trees and restore urban tree cover on the Gary campus,” she said. “The new trees required weekly watering and IU Northwest staff volunteered their time throughout the year to make sure the new plantings would survive. In addition, IU Northwest undergraduate students are currently completing a campus tree inventory.”
Argyilan said another Arbor Day/Earth Day celebration is planned for Wednesday, April 22. On this day, campus volunteers will be helping the City of Gary by replacing dead Ash trees around the Gleason Golf Course with healthy new trees.
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. This work directly supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative — an unprecedented effort to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire 5 million tree planters by 2022. Last year, Tree Campus USA schools have collectively planted 34,515 trees and engaged 33,432 tree planters — helping us work toward these critical goals.
More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.