DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the University of North Texas as a 2014 Tree Campus USA university for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. This marks the seventh year in a row UNT has earned this recognition.
Tree Campus USA is a national program honoring colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy management of their campus forests and for engaging the community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA was launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and is supported by a grant from Toyota.
Lanse Fullinwider, grounds maintenance manager at UNT, said this award continues the history of UNT caring about its campus trees.
"We are one of the original 29 schools named a tree campus back in 2008 and we have been able to maintain our status as a Tree Campus USA school, showing a dedication to the care and preservation of campus trees," said Fullinwider. The UNT grounds team, he added, strives to make the campus "a more inviting place to live, study, work and play."
UNT met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are establishing a campus tree advisory committee; having a campus tree-care plan; verifing dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; being involved in an Arbor Day observance; and instituting a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Several projects are in the works that will continue the pattern of environmental responsibility and tree-care at UNT. The Office of Sustainability is discussing a 75 tree planting project for the fall and the UNT Facilities office is working with Mary Bielamowicz, a senior digital retailing and merchandising major at UNT, who submitted a 50 tree planting project through the We Mean Green Fund for an Earth week planting to celebrate Arbor Day 2015. In addition, the Grounds Services Department in UNT Facilities will update the campus tree inventory this year and will also begin phase one of a multiyear tree pruning project on campus in the near future.