For the fourth straight year, Colorado State University is hosting a volunteer tree planting in April to recognize its designation as a Tree Campus USA – a status retained for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and communities in conversations about urban tree care. But this year, the trees and related outreach materials were supplied as a result of campus community efforts to go green and support the university through friendly competition.
The trees to be planted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 near Danforth Chapel were purchased by the Leave the Plastic, Plant a Tree campaign, which launched in 2014 at the CSU Bookstore. The campaign donates 5 cents for every bag a customer declines upon purchase, with the money set aside to plant trees on campus. And this year’s planting-week education and outreach materials, including new signs describing the benefits of trees, were covered by a special Arbor Day Foundation award after CSU received the most votes in a national Tree Campus USA contest last fall. In the competition, online voters chose CSU as their favorite university against other nationally recognized Tree Campuses.
“We are fortunate to have such incredible support from our campus community. Clearly, we all love our trees and the benefits they provide,” said Jamie Dahl, experiential learning coordinator for the Colorado State Forest Service.
Dahl is the leading member of CSU’s Tree Advisory Committee, which also has representation from CSU Facilities Management, student groups, College of Agricultural Sciences, Warner College of Natural Resources, Extension and the Fort Collins City Forester.
Five different tree species will be planted near the chapel this spring, as part of an effort to help diversify CSU’s urban forest. Facilities Management and the CSFS will lead the volunteer tree planting event Wednesday, and participants will receive free pizza, shirts, hats and other promotional items. Guided campus tree walks and educational booths focusing on urban trees and emerging tree threats also will be offered at the CSU Earth Day Festival, located in the Lory Student Center West Sculpture Garden from 10 a.m. until planting time.
Tree Campus USA is a national program of the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America, which honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. CSU has retained its Tree Campus USA designation by continuing to meet the program’s standards, which include having a campus tree-care plan and student service-learning projects.
For more information about the planting event and related activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Leave the Plastic, Plant a Tree campaign, go to http://www.green.colostate.edu/tree.aspx.