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Arbor Day Foundation honors Aquinas College with 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition

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On Earth Day and in advance of Arbor Day, Aquinas College is celebrating a national honor for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Last week, Aquinas college was honored with 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation. Currently there are 403 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Because of Aquinas College’s participation, air will be purer, water cleaner and students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty trees provide.”

The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Aquinas College achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.

For example, the College is working to ensure that its urban forest is managed to ensure its health for years to come through a Forest Stewardship Plan that will help meet the objectives of campus utilization while protecting the long-term health of the ecosystem.

On April 14, the College held its annual We All Live Here Day of Service dedicated to the care of the campus and of our earth. Activities include improvement of wooded paths, trash collection, community garden maintenance and more.

The Tree Campus designation is yet another national recognition of the College’s Sustainability Initiative. This academic year, the College earned several accolades for its implementation of sustainability into its operations:

  • The Princeton Review listed Aquinas College as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges in its Guide to Green Colleges: 2021 Edition.
  • The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education listed Aquinas College as one of the top performers in the area of waste in its 2020 Sustainable Campus Index and earned the association’s Silver rating under the STARS framework.
  • Aquinas College was ranked 145 on Sierra magazine’s 2020 Cool Schools list.

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus Higher Education colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. This work directly supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative--an unprecedented effort to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire 5 million tree planters by 2022. Last year, Tree Campus Higher Education schools collectively planted 39,178 trees and engaged 81,535 tree planters--helping us work toward these critical goals.

More information about the program is available at http://www.treecampushighered.org. More information is available at http://www.arborday.org.