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Contact: Christine Payton April 19, 2010
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Tree Campus USA
Celebration of the university’s Tree Campus USA designation by Arbor Day Foundation
To celebrate the impact Tree Campus USA is having on college campuses across the United States in its second year, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota teamed up with students and volunteers from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to plant trees on the school’s campus last weekend.

UL Lafayette was one of 74 schools that earned Tree Campus USA recognition in 2009. In the fall of 2008, the Arbor Day Foundation began Tree Campus USA to recognize colleges and universities that practice sound campus forestry. The aim of the program is to honor college campuses and the leaders of surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

Since its inception, Tree Campus USA has been supported by $1.3 million in grants from Toyota.

UL Lafayette President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie said trees have been an important element of campus since Dr. Edwin Stephens, the university’s first president, planted live oaks on the first day of the 20th century.

“ Trees are a practical renewable resource, since they provide shade, produce oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But they have come to symbolize our faith in the future and our desire to provide subsequent generations with an environment that reflects the natural beauty of Louisiana.

“ UL Lafayette’s campus is beautiful because of the efforts of individuals who, in the past, wanted to preserve and enhance our natural resources. By planting these trees, we are carrying on that tradition.”

The impact Tree Campus USA had more than doubled during its second year. In its inaugural year, 29 colleges and universities received Tree Campus USA honors. To celebrate the success of the program, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota are holding tree-planting events on five college campuses this spring. In addition to UL Lafayette, Tree Campus USA tree-planting events will also be held at American University; the University of Pennsylvania; Indiana University Bloomington; and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

During the event, UL Lafayette students and volunteers in the community planted 43 trees near Broussard Hall and Lee Hall. The tree-planting event was part of a campus-wide cleanup day. The trees planted at UL Lafayette will increase the campus’s tree canopy and will provide shade to the heart of the campus.

“ We applaud the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s commitment to improving the urban forest on its campus, and for demonstrating to students why it is so important to plant trees,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation. “By striving to follow best tree-care practices and encouraging students to plant trees on campus, the university is helping the next generation learn first-hand the importance of giving back to the earth.”

In order to become a Tree Campus USA community, schools are required to meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement. Those standards are:

Establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.

UL Lafayette was the third college or university in Louisiana to be recognized as a Tree Campus USA.

More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.


About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

About the Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of more than one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.

Document last revised Monday, April 19, 2010 1:01 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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