In 2013 the campus applied for, and for the first time, was granted Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation.
Each year, an internal committee made of faculty, students, staff, Grounds, and community members and a certified arborist review the campus tree plan, set goals, track expenditures, complete a Student Service Learning Project, and plan an Arbor Day observance as part of completing the Tree Campus USA application for the following year.
I am happy to report we have received Tree Campus USA designation in 2017, for the 5th straight year! We will continue to pursue this honor each year while sustaining our community forest and educating individuals on the importance of trees.
Trees play a vital role on our campus: beautification, shade, energy savings, water retention, home to the migrating purple martins each year, and most importantly, provide the oxygen we need to breathe. Did you know that visual exposure to trees can reduce stress, specifically by lowering blood pressure and muscle tension?
For more information on our application or to see past applications, please see our Tree Campus USA page. You can also visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program page.
If you would like to be on the Tree Campus USA committee or help plan Arbor Day activities, please contact LiveGreen@unmc.edu
Last Friday we celebrated Arbor Day by planting an Eastern Redbud tree outside the Administration Building, replacing a tree that was not in good health and had to be removed. We also gave away free dogwood trees and wildflower seeds, (I’m out of both) and asked Master Gardener Susan Siebler all kinds of questions—and we got to do it in the sunshine! If you missed the event, we’ll do it again next year.
Don’t forget that planting trees at home has lots of benefits too; in addition to oxygen production and health benefits, they absorb carbon dioxide, increase property values, and lower your energy bills.