Black Hills State University earns Tree Campus USA® recognition

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, March 29, 2017/Categories: 2017

BHSU was recently honored as a 2016 Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation, noting the University's commitment to effective forest management.

As a celebration of environmental sustainability, BHSU invites the community to a Tree Planting and Care Workshop, Tuesday, April 18 from 3-5 p.m., a Bicycle Tree Tour, Wednesday, April 19 from 3-5 p.m.,  and the Festival on the Green, a zero waste carnival event, Thursday, April 20, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on campus in Spearfish.

Black Hills State University was honored recently with 2016 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for the University's commitment to planting and maintaining trees across campus.

"Our recognition as a Tree Campus USA shows that we are joining national and regional partners as we continue to take an active role in the care of our campus tree environment," said Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., BHSU President. "Sustainability is part of the soul of this University. There is a very deep belief system in our students, faculty and staff at Black Hills State University to protect the environment."

As part of the campus commitment to environmental sustainability, BHSU invites the community to celebrate the Tree Campus USA designation at a Tree Planting and Care Workshop, Tuesday, April 18 from 3-5 p.m., during a Bicycle Tree Tour, Wednesday, April 19 from 3-5 p.m., at the Festival on the Green, a zero waste carnival event, Thursday, April 20, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on campus in Spearfish.

Kathy Johnson, Vice President for Finance and Administration at BHSU, said the University has an online tree inventory developed by students in biology and global information systems classes who worked with BHSU Facilities Services. The BHSU Campus Tree Inventory is available at www.BHSU.edu/sustain

"Earning the Tree Campus USA designation is a great honor. We have 21 genera of trees including 34 different species of trees on campus currently. About 50 percent of our campus trees are apple, ash, and spruce," said Johnson. "We're working to increase the diversity of species with plans to use a food forest landscaping design. We're incorporating more fruit-bearing trees and bushes to the campus landscape and will be planning several new varieties of trees this year."

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Black Hills State 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 for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Currently there are 296 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, benefitting their communities with clean air, wildlife habitats, carbon sequestration, increased property values, and temperature control.

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

"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."

Details about the BHSU Tree Planting and Care Workshop, Bicycle Tour, and the Festival on the Green are available at www.BHSU.edu/events

To sign up for the BHSU Tree Planting and Care Workshop or for more information on the Tree Campus USA recognition, contact Petrika Peters, sustainability coordinator at BHSU, at 605-642-6298 or Petrika.Peters@BHSU.edu
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