University Receives Tree Campus USA Recognition

For the seventh year in a row, the University of Rochester has been recognized as a Tree Campus Institution. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation which honors colleges and universities that have committed to effective urban forest management and to engaging students and staff in conservation goals.

The University of Rochester prides itself in its commitment to creating green spaces on all of its campuses, with more than 1,400 trees and 116 different species. The University’s Horticulture and Grounds Department manages the trees and other green spaces on all of the University of Rochester’s campuses, including the River Campus, Memorial Art Gallery, Medical Center Campus, and Mt. Hope Campus.

“It is a great honor to be once again recognized as a Tree Campus USA,” said David Nelson, Manager of Horticulture & Grounds. “We have an impressive, diverse collection of tree species within our campuses and we take great pride in educating our community and guests about our arboretum.  Our skilled staff does an incredible job in caring for our trees and the University’s commitment in protecting them is commendable.”

In order to be recognized as a Tree USA Institution, the University of Rochester met and surpassed the program’s five standards. The first is establishing a campus tree advisory committee made up of all members of the University — students, faculty, faculty management, and the community — which meets regularly. The second standard is creating a campus tree care plan which must be flexible enough to fit the ever changing needs of the University. The plan must be goal oriented and provide opportunities to set good policy and clear guidance for planting, maintaining, and removing trees. The plan should also include education to the campus, community, contractors, and consultants about the importance of the presence of trees. The third requirement is to have annual funds dedicated to the campus tree plan program for the cost of trees, labor, supplies, and education. Observing Arbor Day is also an important requirement to be named a Tree Campus Institution. Arbor Day is one of the biggest opportunities to educate the community about the benefits of having an abundance of trees not only on campus but in all spaces. The last standard is a service learning project which should engage the student population with projects related to trees and how they can be a part of a campus or community initiative.

By meeting the standards set forth by Tree Campus USA each year, the University of Rochester creates a campus that is not only better for the environment but for the campus community as well. Trees intake carbon dioxide, a huge contributor to global warming, and output oxygen which contributes to clean fresh air. Trees also create shade, which can reduce the amount of energy needed to cool buildings. And green space provides enjoyable places to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

To view a River Campus Tree Tour video as well as more information about the University’s arboretum, visit For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation and Tree Campus USA visit


Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017

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