KCU has received the 2016 Tree Campus USA recognition from Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation. This recognition honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
KCU met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of 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.
“Receiving Tree Campus USA designation underscores KCU’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Anna Graether, KCU facility manager. “One of the most lasting marks of our centennial celebration and a core reason we received this designation was the planting of 100 trees on campus and in our community in support of our mission to improve the communities we serve.”
As part of KCU’s 100 Trees Project, throughout 2016, 67 KCU volunteers contributed more than 200 hours of service to plant a total of 68 fruit- or nut-bearing trees in three community orchards; 32 landscape trees, including 12 flowering dogwoods (the state tree of Missouri), were planted as part of the campus and neighborhood beautification project.
“Not only will the trees add beauty to the community, they also will provide food to those in need and serve to improve air quality through the establishment of urban forestry,” added Graether.
The Arbor Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to making the world greener and healthier through the planting of trees worldwide.