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CUA Named a 2011 Tree Campus USA | Schools

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CUA Named a 2011 Tree Campus USA


From Catholic University: The Arbor Day Foundation has named The Catholic University of America a 2011 Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management. This is the first year of recognition for the University. American University is the only other school in Washington, D.C., recognized in this way.


“Trees not only add beauty to our environment, but create recreational opportunities and provide relief to physical and visual stress,” says Chris Vetick, assistant director of the Office of Facilities Maintenance and Operations. “Research has shown that students are better able to concentrate, complete tasks, and follow instructions after being exposed to natural settings.”


Catholic University achieved the designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.


In 2007, Vetick worked with an arborist consultant who inventoried and catalogued nearly 1,600 trees. Over the last four years, the University has partnered with Casey Trees to plant 200 new ones. It has planted additional trees so that today there are nearly 2,000 trees on campus.


“As we progress into more of a sustainable environment, the critical roles that trees provide are many,” Vetick says. These roles include:

·                     Saving energy by shading structures and reducing air conditioning costs

·                     Improving air quality through the trees’ ability to absorb pollutants by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

·                     Mitigating drainage and storm water by allowing rain to saturate into the ground rather than run off the surface

·                     Providing a space for biodiversity and the benefits of a balanced ecosystem


“Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis on well-maintained and healthy trees so important,” says John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Achieving Tree Campus USA recognition sets an example for other colleges and universities and allows students a chance to give back to both their campus community and the community at large.”


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 conservation.


For more information on the Tree Campus USA program, visit www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.