University earns third Tree Campus USA designation

UNC Charlotte was honored with 2016 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. There are 296 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

UNC Charlotte achieved this distinction 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 projects.

According to Peter Franz, UNC Charlotte landscape architect and chairperson of the University’s Tree Advisory Committee, the campus “maintains an aesthetic that balances new construction and renovations needed to meet our growing student body with a landscape design that incorporates native trees and other biodiversity across campus.”

In accordance with other aspects of the Tree Campus USA designation, University goals include continual mapping, planting and labeling of trees on campus; developing educational opportunities involving our natural landscape, and bringing local experts to campus to discuss urban forestry.

“Although over half of our 1,000-acre campus remains undeveloped and wooded, the purposeful inclusion of trees into our developing campus remains a priority,” noted Franz.

In April, the campus will celebrate Earth Month with several hands-on and educational opportunities that are being planned.