Mar 182012
 
Authors: Moonier Said

No matter how much construction there is or how busy school becomes, everyone who steps on campus can appreciate the trees surrounding it.

“I like to relax next to the trees,” said Jenna Brown, a junior wildlife biology major. “… anything that happens outside is better.”

And last month, CSU’s trees got love not just from students, but from the Arbor Day Foundation as an official Tree Campus USA, joining 150 other American colleges and universities recognized by the program.

This honor came in part from the hard work of CSU’s Tree Management Advisory committee, which makes sure that the newly created Campus Tree Care Plan is on track.

Both the committee and the plan were created in hopes of becoming recognized by Tree Campus USA.

“The committee also affirms the benefits of the campus trees and our community forests to students, staff and the general public through service-learning opportunities and Arbor Day observance events,” said Jamie Dahl, an experiential learning coordinator for the Colorado State Forest Service and leading member of the tree advisory committee.

CSU attained five Tree Campus USA standards for sustainable campus forestry this year, including the establishment of the committee and tree care plan, an official Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

The care plan was put in place as guidelines to protect urban forests on campus, to reduce risks to public safety and to ensure a sustainable campus through tree species diversity.

“The recognition is, in part, acknowledgement that the university is a good steward of its urban forest, and demonstrates sustainable practices,” said Assistant Director of Facilities Management Fred Haberecht.

The trees in Sherwood Forest, which is next to the Forestry Building, in addition to the trees all around campus, add up to 7,000 in total with up to 109 species of trees that are as old as 130 years.

The Sherwood Forest was planted in the 1930s with species of trees that can be found everywhere in Colorado.

The Tree Campus Advisory Committee will be holding a Tree Campus USA and Arbor Day Celebration on Apr 20.

“We are excited about the chance to involve more than 100 student volunteers as we plant 27 American elms to help preserve this culturally significant landmark,” Dahl said.

Collegian writer Moonier Said can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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