WMU to celebrate Arbor Day, 2012 Tree Campus recertification

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Tree Campus USA logo.

Image courtesy of arborday.org.

Note: This event has been postponed due to the forecast of strong thunderstorms in the area, and will be rescheduled as weather permits.

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University will celebrate national Arbor Day as well as the University’s fifth consecutive Tree Campus USA certification during a public tree planting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 18, at the east end of its Goldsworth Valley Pond.

WMU landscape services staff will be planting a Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), a tree native to Michigan, and those attending the ceremony are welcome to add a shovel of soil to the planting. The event will include a short program updating attendees about the University’s Arbor Day history and recent landscaping projects.

The University will also note that the Arbor Day Foundation has named WMU a Tree Campus for 2012, in recognition of its commitment to effective community forestry management. Only 191 campuses nationwide have earned the designation to date. WMU and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor were among the nation’s 30 inaugural Tree Campuses and until now were the only such campuses in Michigan. Calvin College in Grand Rapids has now achieved the status, as well.

Tree Campus USA is a national program launched in 2008 and supported by a grant from Toyota Motor North America. It honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees as well as engaging their students, employees and alumni in the spirit of conservation.

To be recertified each year, schools must meet five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: sponsoring student service-learning projects and having a tree advisory committee, a tree-care plan, an Arbor Day observance, and dedicated annual expenditures for their campus tree program.

WMU conducts its annual tree planting ceremony prior to Michigan’s official observance of Arbor Day—the last Friday in April—to avoid holding the event during spring final examinations week and to increase student participation.

For more information, contact Darrell Junkins, WMU grounds supervisor in landscape services, at darrell.junkins@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8557.