Clarksville, TN – With 110 acres of green space and a diverse number of trees planted, located and maintained on campus, the efforts of Austin Peay State University staff and students have been honored by the Arbor Day Foundation with the University’s first designation as a Tree Campus USA institution.
“This was the first time that the University has gone through the application process, and it is a recognition of the collaborative environment we have at Austin Peay,” Wes Powell, assistant director, landscape and ground, said. “We had members of the University, as well as the community come together for the conservation and preservation of our natural resources.”
To obtain this distinction, APSU has met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
Following guidance outlined in the University’s Tree Care Plan, grounds crews manage the campus by inventorying, maintaining and protecting current trees, as well as promoting the planting and selection of new trees. Over the last two years, the APSU grounds department has planted 167 trees on campus, with a target of at least 75 new trees to be planted per year.
Each year, APSU student-volunteers participate in the Plant the Campus Red program to bring the campus to life through the planting of hundreds of flowers, shrubs and saplings. The event is held in April of each year and involves around 200 volunteers, as well as the horticulture and grounds departments.
In February, APSU volunteers participated in 50k Tree Day, sponsored by the Tennessee Environment Council. Over 50 volunteers gathered at APSU to help a state-wide effort to plant 50,000 trees across the state in one hour.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”
Tree Campus USA was launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota. This national program promotes environmental stewardship and the contributions made to make a healthier, more sustainable world.
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $36.8 million in campus forest management last year. Currently there are 254 universities across the United States with this distinction.
More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA