LINCOLN, Neb., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A growing number of colleges and universities were named a 2011 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, with a total of 148 campuses recognized for their commitment to effective community forestry management.
The number of campuses recognized is up about 30 percent compared to 2010, when 116 were named a Tree Campus USA. The complete list of 2011 campuses is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
The Foundation and Toyota are sponsoring 13 tree planting events throughout the country this spring to acknowledge these accomplishments and give students and staff the opportunity to participate in campus conservation.
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
Seven of the tree planting events will be jointly sponsored by AASHE, or the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the remaining six will be co-sponsored by the historically black Greek organizations Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The first event was held at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, on March 29.
"Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis of these leading campuses on well-maintained and healthy trees so important," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "We're excited to again plant trees with Toyota on campuses throughout the country, and are delighted to be working with new partners to make it happen."
"At Toyota, we believe in empowering individuals to make our communities cleaner and greener," said Pat Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy for Toyota Motor North America. "We are thrilled that students and staff of diverse backgrounds are coming together to earn Tree Campus USA designations and participate in campus tree planting events across the country — protecting our environment and strengthening communities at the same time."
Campus events co-sponsored by AASHE include Valencia College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Colorado State University, Purdue University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Virginia Commonwealth University.