February 23, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Plants Long-Leaf Pines in Celebration of Tree Campus USA Recognition

Valdosta State University is once again a Tree Campus USA honoree. To celebrate the recognition, Dr. Cecil P. Staton, interim president, helped students from Dr. Emily Cantonwine’s BIOL 3630: Biology of Horticulture class and Department of Landscape and Grounds personnel plant a tree.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s unwavering commitment to effective urban forest management has resulted in a fourth Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.
To commemorate the occasion, and to replace historic pines lost during summer storms last year, VSU planted 10 long-leaf pine trees on the north end of main campus, particularly around Powell Hall and the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center, on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Dr. Cecil P. Staton, interim president, encouraged the entire Blazer family to be good stewards of the environment as he grabbed a shovel and helped students from Dr. Emily Cantonwine’s BIOL 3630: Biology of Horticulture class and Department of Landscape and Grounds personnel plant a tree.    
“Each year it takes the combined effort and support of the entire campus community and the surrounding City of Valdosta to make sure VSU’s urban forest is preserved and enhanced,” shared Monica Haynes, Department of Landscape and Grounds superintendent. She thanked VSU’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, and friends for helping the university’s grounds maintenance team “maintain, preserve, and protect the trees and landscaping” and credited Kevin Jenkins, City of Valdosta arborist; Cantonwine and her horticulture students; Staton; and the Campus Beautification and Stewardship Committee with providing “all of the support in making sure VSU can continue to receive the Tree Campus USA designation.”
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and to engage college and university community members in conservation goals. There are currently 254 institutions of higher education across the United States with this recognition. Collectively they invested more than $36.8 million in campus forest management last year.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, 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 us all.”
The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.
VSU’s Department of Landscape and Grounds is committed to providing the campus community with the highest quality service in the areas of horticulture, landscape maintenance, landscape construction, irrigation, and trash compaction. Each grounds maintenance team member takes pride in his or her efforts to maintain the distinctive beauty of the campus and how that supports university-wide recruitment and retention efforts.     
On the Web:

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.