Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been named a Tree Campus USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation for the fourth consecutive year. The honor recognizes the Colleges for meeting five core standards for effective campus forest management: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for a campus tree program, a student service-learning project, and an Arbor Day observance.
Launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Only 254 campuses across the U.S. hold the recognition.
During 2015, the Colleges continued to advance a strong commitment to the environment, sustainability and heritage of trees through several key areas, including planting 39 new trees, adding to the existing 1,800 trees on campus.
In addition, FLI intern Stacey Davis ’15 completed a tree inventory and corresponding map of the 102 trees on HWS Fribolin Farm which current intern Patrick Ware ’16 began to examine during the fall 2015 semester. The farm’s tree inventory aided in the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) Food Systems Program’s “Sweet As Farming” as 10 of the maple trees were tapped for maple syrup in 2015 with the assistance of Abbe Lentz ’15 and Maggie O’Reilly ’16. Davis also completed a formal proposal to the HWS Farm Committee to create an edible forest at the HWS Fribolin Farm. The project complimented a plan previously crafted by Brendan Fitzgerald ’15 and Daniel Budman ’15.
Last year, a campus map of existing trees was updated to include more than 800 specimens. While conducting the tree inventory, data on each tree is added to i-Tree Streets, an urban forest analysis tool that’s used to report the environmental services provided by campus trees, such as carbon sequestration linked to trees on campus.
Extending efforts to the community, about 30 HWS students also planted an edible perennial garden at Trinity Church in Geneva during one of the Colleges’ Days of Service.
Recently, the Colleges were also named as one of three national finalists in the 2015 Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA Service Learning Contest open to institutions with fewer than 15,000 enrolled students. The Colleges’ proposal, submitted by FLI Food Systems Program Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator Sarah Meyer, called for the planting of 100 fruit trees in the City of Geneva to aid in hunger relief.
The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $36.8 million in campus forest management last year.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
Meyer and HWS Grounds Manager David Iannicello will attend the Tree Campus USA award ceremony on behalf of the Colleges. The event, hosted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Lands and Forests, will take place on Wednesday, March 30 in Albany.