February 18, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Celebrates Ninth Tree Campus USA Recognition

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University celebrates its ninth Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA recognition and steadfast commitment to effective urban forest management.

VSU traditionally hosts an on-campus Arbor Day Ceremony with speakers, activities, and tree plantings. However, due to the ongoing global pandemic, officials decided to recognize the occasion with a video message from Monica Haynes, superintendent of Landscape and Grounds at VSU, and a look at the university’s unwavering commitment to maintain, preserve, and protect its trees and eye-catching landscaping. (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xMy2B0i-hE)

“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,” Haynes says.

Haynes thanked every member of the VSU community for helping the university’s grounds maintenance team continue to create a desirable campus for living, learning, working, and playing. She 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.” She and her team hope to plant some new trees in April.

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.

"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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