|ISU named Tree Campus USA College for second year|
|Written by Cassandra Monroe Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 10 February 2010 22:58|
Jesse Fell once said, “He who plants a tree and cares for it, does something for posterity.” Fell believed it was important to preserve nature, but in 1995 former ISU President Thomas Wallace’s wife made the official decision to turn the campus into an arboretum.
The Arbor Day Foundation has named ISU a Tree Campus USA College for the second year in a row. Last year, ISU was one of 29 campuses in Illinois to earn this recognition and is the only university in Illinois to receive the award.
“Every Tree Campus USA should take pride in the fact that the work being done will have a lasting impact as students become more involved with conservation efforts to create healthier communities,” Mark Derowitsch, public relations manager for the Arbor Day Foundation, said.
Each campus submits its application for approval to its state urban forestry coordinator. The Arbor Day Foundation and the state urban forestry coordinators approve all Tree Campus USA universities.
“It’s not just the Quad. The entire campus’ trees are tagged, and part of the arboretum,” Michael O’Grady, director of grounds and fleet services, said.
In order to get one of every native species the university had to order several trees from nurseries, but some of the trees were already present on the campus naturally. The campus was inventoried, trees were tagged and a map was developed to show where all the trees were located on the Quad.
“With the inventory complete, we were able to determine what type of trees were underrepresented, and since that time we have continued to add to our collection,” O’Grady said. “We see the campus as a learning tool and outdoor laboratory for study.”
In order to qualify for the Tree Campus USA award many requirements must be met.
First the university must establish a campus tree advisory committee. The committee was established in October 2008, and plays an important role in maintaining and furthering the vision Jesse Fell had for ISU’s campus.
“The committee, which must have student representation, can assist in providing guidance for future planning and plantings, approval of the campus’s tree care plan and will play a key role in educating students about the benefits of trees in an urban environment,” Derowitsch said.
Second the university must have a campus tree-care plan, and verify annual expenditures of said plan. ISU’s plan can be found at facilities.ilstu.edu/downloads/TreeCareProgram.pdf.
Third the institute must show involvement in an Arbor Day observance. Each year, money is to be paid through the Fell Arboretum to provide a tree to be planted in recognition of Arbor Day. The tree is then labeled, identifying the species and that the tree was for Arbor Day, and the date the tree was planted.
Finally, the university has to have a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body. ISU has several opportunities for students and community members to help with tree projects.
Interested parties can participate in tree labeling and identification, GIS [mapping the campus] or pruning and trimming.
According to Derowitsch, “The service learning project engages students in tree-planting and conservation initiatives on campus … The goal of the service learning project is to raise up the next generation of tree planters.”