For the third straight year, Colorado State University is being honored by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America as a Tree Campus USA, for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and communities in conversations about urban tree care.
To celebrate the recognition and in observance of Arbor Day 2014, CSU Facilities Management and the Colorado State Forest Service will lead a volunteer tree planting event at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 25 near the gazebo in the Annual Flower Trial Garden west of the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St.
Volunteers will plant five different tree species as part of an effort to retain CSU’s urban forest, which boasts more than 4,500 trees on the main campus alone. Experts will be on hand to talk about various urban tree species ideal for Fort Collins.
An educational station also will be offered to provide attendees with information about the highly destructive emerald ash borer – an invasive insect first confirmed in Colorado last year, in the City of Boulder. It poses a serious future threat to all of Fort Collins’ ash trees, which account for 15 percent or more of all trees in town.
“The fact that emerald ash borer has already killed tens of millions of trees in the U.S. highlights the importance of planting diverse urban forests, to help mitigate the impacts of insect threats that target specific trees,” said Jamie Dahl, CSFS experiential learning coordinator and leading member of CSU’s Tree Advisory Committee.
Other committee members represent the Fort Collins City Forester; the CSFS Fort Collins District; and CSU Facilities Management, College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship and Extension. Various CSU student groups also are assisting the committee for this year’s event.
Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. CSU has retained the designation by continuing to meet Tree Campus USA’s standards, which include having a campus tree-care plan and student service-learning projects.