Black Hills State University Has Earned 2021 Distinction Through the Tree Campus Higher Education Program

SPEARFISH, S.D. – Black Hills State University was honored with 2021 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Black Hills State University achieved the distinction by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, including 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 393 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“Black Hills State University is proud to be designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation," BHSU President Laurie S. Nichols said. "This recognition comes as a result of prioritizing trees on our campus through a thoughtful landscaping plan. It is apparent to those who visit campus that trees add to the beauty and biodiversity of campus. I appreciate all that our committee does to map each campus tree and provide a plan to protect and maintain them.”

The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its Tree Campus Higher Education program began in 2008 to encourage colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses.

"Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.”

Trees on campus and in urban spaces can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students' mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses, and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.

Black Hills State University will be holding an Arbor Day Celebration on April 20 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Ida Henton Park in Spearfish, SD to celebrate this recent distinction. Activities will include presentation of the 2021 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition plaque and a demonstration of proper tree planting, pruning, and maintenance techniques.