Western Michigan University was one of 29 campuses to earn the designation of "Tree Campus USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2008, the first year of this award. WMU has been re-certified every year since 2008. We are one of only two colleges in Michigan to receive this certification. The program is modeled on the foundation's popular Tree City USA program, which began in 1976.
"These schools have made a major commitment to protecting, caring for, and adding to their campus forest. The results of this commitment will have a lasting, positive impact, not only on campus but in the overall community." —John Rosenow, founder of the Arbor Day Foundation
National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on other dates according to the best tree planting times. In 2015, WMU celebrated Arbor Day by planting an eastern white pine—Michigan's state tree. In addition, the University held a dedication for the new 17-foot icon near Sangren Hall.
Tree Campus USA criteria
In order to be certified as a Tree Campus USA, a college must meet five criteria:
- Must have a Tree Advisory Committee.
- Must develop and implement a Campus Tree Care Plan.
- Must have a Campus Tree Care Program with dedicated annual tree expenditures.
- Must observe Arbor Day.
- Must have a tree-related service-learning project.