TNE Editor
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NSU recognized as a tree-friendly campus

Published 1/25/19

Roxanne Grabe

TNE Writer

In 2017, NSU received a Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for their commitment to be a tree-friendly campus. Since they were first recognized in 2010, NSU works every year to continue receiving this award.

The Arbor Day Foundation, founded in 1972, is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees to improve the environment. They have planted and distributed over 250 million trees and have a variety of educational programs.

Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program created in 2008, is a program that recognizes universities for planting trees and improving the environment throughout the United States. By being a part of Tree Campus USA, students and faculty could potentially benefit from the effects of having trees on campus and in the community of Tahlequah. Planted trees offer shade and relaxation, as well as a reduction of carbon dioxide in the air on campus and in the community.

“It is nice that they have peaceful areas to sit whenever it is not super busy during class times,” said John Tillson, Gore junior.

There are 364 Tree Campus USA universities that are recognized as Tree Campuses, with ten in Oklahoma. For a university to be considered for recognition, they must meet the five standards set by Tree Campus USA. To meet these standards, the university must establish an advisory committee that consists of students, faculty, facility management and community members. 

“We held meetings, usually three or four a year, to talk about things we need to do on campus,” said Sherry Hadley, NSU Tree Campus USA advisory committee chairman. “I have contacted Green Leaf Nursery and got them to donate some trees to our campus.” 

Along with having an advisory committee, universities must also have a campus tree care plan, a campus tree care program with dedicated annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance and a service-learning project to educate students on how to nurture trees and care for the environment. In 2017, Tree Campus universities planted over 36,000 and invested over $48 million in campus forest management. Tree Campus USA also had 40 new first-year tree campuses in 2017, along with a 94.48 percent recertification rate.

NSU has worked for the past seven years to meet the standards required by Tree Campus USA. By meeting these standards, NSU received a plaque, which is displayed inside the Facility Management Building.

“We take great pride in maintaining our forest,” said Jonathan Asbill, Facilities Management and New Constructions assistant vice president. “Not just maintaining but growing it and doing the right things. If we have a dead tree, removing that and replacing it with appropriate trees so it is going to continue growing.”

Students interested in joining the NSU Tree Campus USA advisory committee or have questions can email facilities@nsuok.edu or hadleys@nsuok.edu. 


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