Oklahoma City University is a Tree Campus USA for the second year in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation announced.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Toyota helped launch the program and continued its financial support this year.
Oklahoma City University 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 toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and 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.”
OCU became home to a native Oklahoma tree arboretum two years ago 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.
“Trees help beautify our community, improve air quality and offer educational opportunities for our students,” said OCU President Robert Henry. “This award recognition will inspire us to continue improving our campus, not only for the benefit of our students, but also for our community.”
The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa.
“Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a tremendous impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become the conservation leaders of the future,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.