UCF Named Tree Campus USA 2016
March 28th, 2016
For the sixth consecutive year, UCF has been awarded ‘Tree Campus USA” designation by the National Arbor Day foundation. This dedication recognizes the University of Central Florida as a leader in arboricultural practices, based on criteria established by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA is a national program designed to increase quality and quantity of Urban Forests at Universities throughout the country. The award recognizes participants who have made a commitment to improving the quality of outdoor experiences on campus, based on five core standards aimed at supporting a resilient forest. To win the award, campuses must establish a Tree Advisory Committee, a Campus Tree Care Plan, dedicated annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance, and sponsorship of student service-learning programs.
This year, students, community supporters, and friends and family turned out to share their passion for trees with a tree planting to celebrate UCF Arbor Day on April 25th, 2016. The UCF Arboretum and students installed nine red maples and nine bald cypress trees around the Alumni Center retention pond to celebrate UCF Arbor Day. The event started off with a campus tree tour by Dr. Patrick Bohlen, Director of the Arboretum and Department of Landscape and Natural Resources. Participants were then treated to pizza and were given small red maple trees to take home.
Additionally, the UCF Arboretum, in partnership with the Department of Landscape and Natural Resources, engaged 20-25 UCF students in a service-learning project where they planted two, large native Florida trees at the UCF Arboretum in conjunction with 20-30 local high school students from Oak Ridge High School, an accredited Title I school in Orlando that serves mostly economically disadvantaged, and underrepresented communities. Oak Ridge has an AmeriCorps team on campus that supports at-risk students with tutoring and mentoring. The UCF students were from Foundations of Environmental Studies (IDS 3150) class.
UCF has made a commitment to carbon reduction with a goal of zero emissions by 2025. Each year, with support from the Arbor Day Foundation, students, community and staff are a few steps closer to this goal by planting trees, providing valuable ecosystem services, carbon sequestration, and an enjoyable outdoor experience.