Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
“Being a Tree Campus USA means we don’t just say we like having trees on campus; we care for them and understand their importance and benefit to the campus,” said Scott Warren, director of landscape and grounds for ACU. “It is obvious that the students enjoy them when you see hammocks out everywhere on a pretty day. They have a major impact to our daily life whether we notice them or not.”
To obtain this distinction, universities must meet five core standards:
- establishment of a tree advisory committee
- evidence of a campus tree care plan
- dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program
- an Arbor Day observance
- sponsorship of student service learning projects
More than 2,700 trees line the ACU campus, and ACU’s urban forest is valued at more than $8 million. ACU currently has two certified arborists on staff.
ACU is one of 408 U.S. campuses to receive the Tree Campus USA designation for 2019, and Texas boasts more Tree Campuses than any other state with 28.