COLLEGE PARK, Md. – For its fifth consecutive year, the University of Maryland has been named a 2012 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. This national program recognizes colleges and universities for their effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
"We are privileged to live and work on one of the greenest campuses in the nation, as this Arbor Day Foundation honor reminds us," said University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "I thank the students, faculty and staff who earned this recognition for us through their commitment to enriching the campus environment."
Maryland achieved this honor by meeting Tree Campus USA's required five core standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.
"We always strive to set the bar high. With a campus that is an arboretum and botanical garden in itself with nearly 9,000 trees and counting, we are doing just that," said Karen Petroff, assistant director for arboretum/horticultural services at Maryland. "In 2012, we planted 1,223 new trees on campus and in 2013 we have plans to continue to diversify and enhance the campus canopy and botanical collections. We are honored to have our work continually recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation."
According to Petroff, partners such as the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, the Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository Program, the Anacostia Watershed Society and student groups and individuals played a key role in helping to achieve their goal of creating performance landscapes that serve ecosystem, aesthetic and academic functions.
"Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for all of us."
Tree Campus USA was created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation with support from Toyota. Through their partnership, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.