February 14, 2020

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Celebrates Eighth Tree Campus USA Recognition with Arbor Day Ceremony

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s unwavering commitment to effective urban forest management has resulted in an eighth Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.

VSU will commemorate the occasion with an Arbor Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, on the lawn area between Odum Library and the Fine Arts Building. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, and friends of the university are invited to attend.

Arbor Day Ceremony guests will learn what it takes to achieve the Tree Campus USA designation, as well as learn more about the work behind maintaining VSU’s urban forest and why those efforts are important to the university. They will also discover the health benefits of gardening and enjoy a one-mile walk around VSU’s picturesque Main Campus, a VSU Campus Wellness effort to demonstrate how being outside in nature has the potential to make people healthier and happier.     

“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, superintendent of Landscape and Grounds at VSU.

Haynes thanked every member of the VSU community for helping the university’s grounds maintenance team “maintain, preserve, and protect the trees and landscaping” and credited Kevin Jenkins, City of Valdosta arborist; Dr. Brad Bergstrom, VSU Department of Biology professor; Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president; 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. Collectively these institutions of higher education invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year.

“If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time,” shared Lauren Weyers, program coordinator for the Arbor Day Foundation. “Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use. Valdosta State University is stepping up to do its part … to provide a solution to these global challenges.”

"Tree campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but [also] the surrounding communities [by] showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Because of … [VSU’s] participation air will be purer, water cleaner, and … students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”

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.  

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Backup Location:
In case of rain, VSU’s Arbor Day Ceremony will be held in the University Center Cypress Room.