News

Arbor Day Foundation names Portland State a Tree Campus USA
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: February 26, 2015

Portland State University was honored this month with 2014 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management on its 49-acre downtown Portland campus.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and sponsored by Toyota to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. 

Portland State University achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA's five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning project.

“Given PSU's dense urban context, it is especially important to consider the impact on trees and habitat as we develop over time,” said Jenny McNamara, PSU’s campus sustainability manager. “This designation recognizes the hard work of students, faculty, and staff and formalizes our commitment to protecting our urban forest for the health and wellbeing of people and wildlife—both for the University and for the greater Portland community.”

The Arbor Day Foundation recognized PSU for its Tree Advisory Team, a dynamic group of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to health and well being of PSU’s tree canopy. The University also adopted a Campus Tree Care Plan and regularly involves students in celebrating and caring for campus green space. The Campus Sustainability Office is working on a detailed campus tree inventory for planning and education purposes. 

A formal Tree Campus USA award will be presented to PSU during the Portland Arbor Day Celebration at the Portland Farmers Market on April 11. The awards ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. 

"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."

"Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a great impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become conservation leaders," said Latrondra Newton, chief corporate social responsibility officer for Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $29 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.