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University Repeats Tree Campus USA Status

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Oklahoma City University was honored with 2017 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, 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 us all.”

OCU is home to a unique native Oklahoma tree arboretum featuring 40 trees from across the state — evergreens from southeast Oklahoma, oaks from central Oklahoma and elms from western Oklahoma. The trees are labeled, providing an ongoing educational opportunity for OCU students and tree enthusiasts.

“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.”

Tree Campus USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. OCU 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 344 campuses across the United States with this recognition. The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $48 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

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