What is Tree Campus?
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. West Virginia University achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Currently there are 364 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
WVU Tree Care Plan
- Increase and maintain diversity of tree species
- Develop preferred species list
- Develop ‘do not plant’ list
- Choose some species based on their potential for incorporation into the student curriculum
- Maintain and improve canopy cover in landscaped areas
- Current canopy is 8% and the target is 10% canopy cover
- Hire an arborist
- Assist arborist in attaining ISA Certification within one year
- Maintain tree inventory database
- Use the database to monitor tree health
- Educate the campus community on the importance and value of trees
- Keep stakeholders from negatively impacting trees
- Prepare people for when declining tree health necessitates removal of historic trees
Tree Campus Activities
- First time celebrating Arbor Day on campus in 2017 and continued in 2018 and 2019.
- Completed a tree inventory of campus trees in landscaped areas in Spring 2018.
- Planted 200 saplings in rain gardens on campus in Spring 2019. Some will stay in rain gardens permanently, while others will be transplanted when larger.
- Planted 40 trees on campus in Fall 2019 with a grant from the WV Division of Forestry.
- Celebrated 200th birthday of the E. Moore Hall sycamore in November 2019.
- Planted more trees than were removed in 2019-- removed 41, but planted 51.