NSU receives second consecutive Tree Campus USA recognition

(Tahlequah, Okla.)--Stop by Northeastern State University and you are greeted with a wide variety of trees accenting the historic campus.

For the second consecutive year, Northeastern State University has been recognized for its forestry management on the Tahlequah campus.

The Tree Campus USA program recognizes colleges and universities that effectively manage the growth of trees on campus and promote student and community involvement. Tree Campus USA is a partnership of the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota.

“The members of the advisory committee, including representatives of the physical plant grounds crew, continuously strive to effectively manage the health of the campus trees,” said Ronnie Grayson, Tree Campus Advisory Committee member. “We want to enhance awareness of the importance of trees to sustaining a healthy campus environment.”

Application for recognition as a Tree Campus USA is annual. The five requirements for recognition are that a Campus Tree Advisory Committee including representation from students, faculty, facility management and the community must be established. Plus, a campus tree care plan must be outlined, a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures must be designed, an observance of Arbor Day must take place and a service learning project must be completed.

“During the year activities are planned to help meet the goals of the Tree Campus Advisory Committee and achieve the standards set forth by the Tree Campus USA program,” Grayson said. "The physical plant grounds crew is primarily responsible for the care and management of the campus trees.

Grayson said an advisory committee, including representatives from the grounds crew, meets to discuss ideas and share suggestions. Students perform the service learning project under the guidance of a faculty member. Monica Macklin, a biology instructor at NSU-Broken Arrow, has guided the student project.

An Arbor Day celebration during the 40th Annual Symposium on the American Indian is at NSU on April 13 at 3:30 p.m. Several native trees, donated by Grand River Nursery in Fort Gibson, will be planted. Mulching of selected campus trees is planned. A second Ancestral Black Walnut tree, donated by Cherokee Nation Department of Natural Resources, will also be planted.

“During the event last year, we planted the first Ancestral Black Walnut sapling grown from the now declining resident parent tree in front of Seminary Hall,” Grayson said. “It is believed the parent tree has been growing on campus since before the Cherokee Female Seminary was built in the late-19th Century.” 

Published: 4/9/2012 2:39:13 PM

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