MORRISVILLE, N.Y. — SUNY Morrisville once again has been honored for its commitment to effective urban forest management, receiving 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation.
For the eighth consecutive year, the college has received recognition from Tree Campus Higher Education, a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, which honors colleges and universities that show a commitment to encouraging students and university personnel to care for tree resources. Currently, there are 402 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
To be considered for the distinction, a campus must meet five standards: establish and maintain a campus tree advisory committee; create a goal-oriented campus tree-care plan; dedicate annual expenditures for a campus tree program; hold an Arbor Day observance; and conduct a student service-learning project.
SUNY Morrisville’s diverse tree collection allows for environmental, aesthetic and educational benefits. It also serves as a living laboratory for many courses, including horticulture, forestry and arboriculture, in which students engage in tree identification, planting, pruning and assessment.
“Morrisville’s hands-on approach to learning makes it easy for our students to have a positive impact in our local environment,” said Rebecca Hargrave, who leads the efforts of the college’s tree campus advisory committee. “Planting and maintaining trees reinforces what we do in the classroom, and Tree Campus Higher Ed recognition is a reflection of that positive student work.”
SUNY Morrisville also has a campus tree-care plan that includes policies for planting, care and removal, as well as plans for tree protection and preservation. The college recently completed a major underground utility upgrade project that required a significant landscape redesign. As a result, Morrisville has many new trees on campus and has increased the biodiversity of its urban forest.
To recognize Arbor Day this year, faculty, staff, the campus tree board, and students in horticulture and natural resources planted three chestnut oaks on campus.