WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will celebrate being named a 2011 Tree Campus USA with a tree planting ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday (April 26) at the intersection of Russell and Harrison streets.
The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota are giving 60 trees to Purdue that will planted by staffers and student volunteers.
The Tree Campus USA program honors universities for promoting healthy trees and engaging staff and students in conservation efforts. Purdue met the required five core standards by establishing a tree advisory committee, creating a campus tree-care plan, dedicating an annual budget for tree care, establishing an Arbor Day observance and sponsorship of student service-learning projects. 2011 is the third consecutive year Purdue has earned the designation.
“Your entire campus community should be proud of this sustained commitment to environmental stewardship,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Your diligence in improving the environment and quality of life at Purdue University contributes to a healthier, more sustainable world for us all.”
Michael Gulich, director of university sustainability, said: “This recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation highlights Purdue’s commitment to the importance of trees on our campus. Trees provide ecosystem services such as shade, microclimate mitigation, water and air filtration, stormwater mitigation, habitat, and learning opportunities. And trees also provide an aesthetic that our campus community expects.”
Purdue’s lead arborist said trees are a vital component of the campus infrastructure and landscaping and create a welcoming environment for students, staff and alumni.
“Trees benefit everyone by keeping the air cleaner, providing shade and reducing energy costs,” Tim Detzner said. “We are greatful for the the Arbor Day Foundations’s support and encouragement.”
Purdue’s grounds department systematically plants trees and to celebrate Arbor Day, Earth Day and Green Week. Each new construction project on campus typically includes new tree plantings. Replacement tree plantings are conducted campus-wide each spring and fall.
The Purdue Arboretum project began late in 2008 with the goal to make the Purdue campus a living laboratory to enhance learning and discovery. The Purdue Arboretum provides a unique collection of plants, gardens, art works, walking trails and green spaces that can be used and appreciated by any visitor.
“Success of the arboretum depends on significant involvement of faculty, staff and students from across the campus, as well as individuals, community groups and private organizations,” saidPurdue grounds director Gary Evans.
Purdue began planting its arboretum almost as soon as the university was founded in 1869. In the early 1900s, Horticulture Park was established on the west side of campus under the direction of Purdue’s Department of Horticulture.
“Purdue is built on rich, glacial soils near the banks of the Wabash River that provide a unique setting to promote the cultural heritage and natural beauty of Indiana,” Detzner said.
The tree planting event will begin at a tent behind the Building Service and Grounds Building, followed by a tree planting demonstration and the volunteer tree planting. The Arbor Day Foundation will provide lunch for all volunteers and give away an Amazon Kindle Fire to a student volunteer. Visit http://arbordaynow.volunteermatch.org/campaign/project_detail.jsp?id=1077489 to sign up for the event and the drawing.
Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, email@example.com