DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the University of North Texas as a 2015 Tree Campus USA University for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. This marks the eighth year in a row UNT has earned this recognition.
As part of UNT Sustainability's Earth Week events, students will plant three trees at 2:30 p.m. on UNT's designated Arbor Day, April 21 (Thursday), to the southwest of Sage Hall and north of the University Union.
Tree Campus USA is a national program honoring colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy management of their campus forests and 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, facilities project manager at UNT, said this award continues the history of UNT caring about its campus trees, of which there are more than 4,300 across UNT's main campus, Eagle Point campus and Discovery Park campus.
"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 for all visitors, students, faculty and staff."
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; verifying 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.
"Trees have wonderful effects on our campus," Fullinwider said. "They act as 'cooling' agents for campus on a hot summer day. Just notice the difference between a shaded sidewalk and a full sun sidewalk. Which is more inviting? They also provide a nice building to earth ratio. Can you imagine a campus with no trees? The buildings would stick out like sore thumbs!"