Black Hills State University was honored with 2022 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is the seventh year in a row that BHSU has been awarded this distinction. 

The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. BHSU 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 411 campuses across the United States with this recognition. 

“Black Hills State University is proud to be designated a Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation," BHSU President Laurie S. Nichols said. "I want to thank the committee who not only plants and maintains trees, but also educates the campus about tree-care and healthy biodiversity. Black Hills State is a beautiful campus, and trees are a major reason for this beauty.”  

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 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. 

"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.” 

BHSU will be holding an Arbor Day Celebration on April 19 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Ida Henton Park in Spearfish to celebrate this recent achievement. Activities will include presentation of the 2022 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition plaque and a demonstration of proper tree planting, pruning, and maintenance techniques.