Texas A&M University is a “Tree Campus USA” honoree for the third year in a row, announced the Arbor Day Foundation.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Toyota helped launch the program and continues its generous financial support this year.
Texas A&M achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.
“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.”
Texas A&M started the journey towards certification in 2009. Marty Sillito, Texas A&M-based grounds operation manager for SSC Service Solutions, the company contracted by Texas A&M to maintain the grounds of the university, and the tree advisory committee have made continuous strides since then towards educating not only faculty, staff and students, but also people in the community, visitors, contractors and vendors as well.
One of the achieved goals by the committee this year is the first virtual tree tour powered by Every Trail.
“This virtual tree tour is just a start of what it can become. I hope to enhance its development and share this with everyone who visits our campus and use it as a tool to help educate and familiarize students with the importance of trees,” Sillito said.
The tree tour can be accessed by viewing http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1954482 .
“Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a tremendous impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become the conservation leaders of the future,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.
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.