The Arbor Day Foundation has awarded Florida Gulf Coast University its 2014 Tree Campus USA designation in recognition of the university’s commitment to planting and nurturing trees and engaging students, faculty and staff in conservation.
It’s the sixth consecutive year that FGCU has earned the distinction.
Tree Campus USA was launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota to celebrate colleges and universities that protect and preserve natural resources. Designated schools must have a campus tree advisory committee and a tree-care plan with dedicated annual expenditures; they also must celebrate Arbor Day and organize related service-learning projects.
In 2012, FGCU was the first university in the country to receive the foundation’s National Arbor Day Award for the best Arbor Day Celebration. The university’s Tree Care Advisory Committee meets throughout the year to discuss ways to implement and improve its Campus Tree Plan.
For years, the university’s Physical Plant has maintained an “orphanage” for trees that are relocated from campus construction sites. They have been replanted around academic and administration buildings and along boardwalks.
Students, faculty and staff also have planted hundreds of trees and thousands of native plants over the past six years during events such as make a Difference Day, Campus Beautification Day and Eagles Earth Day.
In addition to enhancing the landscape and providing shade, trees remove harmful pollutants from air and water and help save money by reducing energy use and improving storm-water management, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.
See more pictures of tree planting at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fgcuadmissions/sets/72157650057043579.