This past January the University of Vermont was officially recognized as a Tree Campus USA. After Middlebury College, UVM is the second institution of higher education, and the first public institution, to receive such a designation in Vermont. UVM’s trees provide many benefits including reductions in energy use, carbon sequestration, and green spaces for students to work or relax in. Tree Campus USA is a sister program to the Tree City USA and Tree Line USA programs, administered by the National Arbor Day Foundation. As stated on the Tree Campus USA website: “By meeting the annual standards and being recognized as a Tree Campus USA college, you will create a campus that not only helps benefit and create a more sustainable environment, but instils pride in the students, faculty, and community.”
There are five standards to which any Tree Campus institution must abide: a tree campus advisory committee, a tree campus care plan, dedicated annual expenditure, a service learning project, and an Arbor Day Celebration. This year UVM’s second annual Arbor Day celebration was held on April 25th this year, and it was a great success! Students tabled on campus between the Davis Center and Bailey-Howe Library for several hours throughout the late morning and early afternoon to help spread the word and get students interested about Tree Campus USA and UVM’s Trees. Anyone walking by could read or talk to us about Tree Campus USA, learn about the benefits of urban trees, learn how to recognize signs of the Emerald Ash Borer, or just take a sticker.
Aside from the outreach table, there were also tree walks lead by lecturer Kit Anderson and Professor Mark Starrett, an invasive species identification workshop lead by Rhonda Mace with USDA APHIS, and a tree planting. A honey locust was planted outside Bailey-Howe Library as a kick off to the large number of new trees scheduled to be planted around the library and student center. At the planting, Provost David V. Rosowsky spoke briefly about UVM’s commitment to trees and the environment, as well as how exciting is it that the university is now a Tree Campus USA.
In addition, throughout the spring semester, there have been many updates to the UVM Trees website (uvm.edu/~uvmtrees). This site was started in 2005 by Kit Anderson’s Trees and Culture Honors College Class. The students in that class created a tree walk, profiles of some notable trees on campus, a list of resources for those interested in UVM’s trees and many other pages. Unfotuanley, the site had not been edited in nine years and so some changes were made. There is now a new tree walk, a link to the updated UVM tree inventory, information about current research and courses offed about trees, upcoming events and ways to get involved.
Author: Sylvia Kinosian, 2014 UCF Intern