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Arbor Day Foundation honors ACU for tree care, conservation

The Arbor Day Foundation recognized Abilene Christian University as a Tree Campus Higher Education institution for 2020 – the eighth year ACU has been included in the list.

Tree Campus Higher Education, 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 means we care for our trees and understand their importance and benefit to the campus,” said Scott Warren, director of landscape and grounds for ACU. “I’m very proud of our tree canopy on campus. Trees add a lot to university life, whether students are resting in hammocks or we are spending a few minutes among our urban forest to lower stress levels.”

To obtain this distinction, ACU met 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

About 2,600 trees line the Abilene Christian campus, including 32 varieties, with the most populous being live oak, pecan, crepe myrtle, Afghan pine and cedar elms. ACU’s urban forest is valued at more than $8 million, and there are currently three certified arborists on staff.

ACU is one of 392 U.S. campuses to receive the Tree Campus Higher Education designation for 2020, and Texas boasts more Tree Campuses than any other state with 27. For more information, visit

— Wendy Kilmer

Sept. 14, 2021

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