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OCU Designated as Tree Campus USA

The Arbor Day Foundation has accepted Oklahoma City University into its Tree Campus USA program. An award ceremony will be held March 13 at the Oklahoma governor’s mansion.

The Tree Campus USA program recognizes universities that demonstrate a variety of initiatives including encouraging tree-related student learning opportunities and connecting with communities off campus. The Arbor Day Foundation requires five standards for recognition as a Tree Campus USA member — establish a campus tree advisory committee, organize a tree care plan, allocate finances toward a tree maintenance program, recognize Arbor Day and sponsor a service learning project.

Acting Provost Susan Barber will accept the award on OCU’s behalf.

Terry Conley, associate dean and biology professor, handled the university’s nomination process. Conley said the award signifies the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community beautification.

“As an urban campus, trees are a great way to beautify the community, improve air quality and offer educational opportunities at the same time,” Conley said. “This award recognition will inspire us to continue improving our campus, not only for the benefit of our students, but also for our community.”

OCU became home to a native Oklahoma tree arboretum last summer thanks to a gift from the Tree Bank Foundation and Chesapeake Energy, and the university has a policy that requires it to plant two trees for every one tree that is removed due to damage or construction.

For more information about the Tree Campus USA program, visit:

http://www.arborday.org/programs/treeCampusUSA/about.cfm