WMU earns seventh consecutive Tree Campus USA designation

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of an oak tree.

WMU was one of two Michigan universities to be recognized as a Tree Campus in the program's inaugural year.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University has earned its seventh consecutive Tree Campus USA designation.

Tree Campus USA is a national Arbor Day Foundation program launched in 2008 and sponsored in partnership with Toyota. It promotes student involvement as well as helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests.

WMU was one of 29 U.S. colleges and universities, and only two in Michigan, to be recognized by the Tree Campus program during its inaugural year. Institutions on the newest Tree Campus list are being honored for their efforts during 2014.

Meeting sustainability standards

To be recertified each year, as WMU has successfully done, schools must meet five standards for sustainable campus forestry. These standards are to have:

  • A tree advisory committee.
  • A campus tree-care plan.
  • A campus tree program that includes dedicated annual expenditures.
  • A tree-related student service-learning project.
  • An Arbor Day observance.

"The honor of a Tree Campus USA designation is a point of pride for the landscape staff and helps to focus attention on the health and diversity of campus trees in every task that is undertaken on the WMU campus," the University said in its recertification application.

"While the future holds many challenges for our campus trees—new construction, invasive species, disease, insects and climate change—the work done to achieve the Tree Campus USA standing has put WMU on a path to identify and solve these issues over time."

For more information about the Tree Campus program, visit arborday.org/programs or contact Darrell Junkins, WMU grounds supervisor in landscape services, at darrell.junkins@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8557.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.