Hobart and William Smith Colleges will be honored as a Tree Campus USA®, and one of only six such campuses in the nation to be chosen for a 2012 Tree Campus USA tree planting event. Volunteers will plant up to 75 trees on the William Smith Hill on Saturday, April 14 starting at 1 p.m. The tree planting will occur in conjunction with the HWS Day of Service led by the HWS Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
“Hobart and William Smith Colleges are honored and excited to pay tribute to the legacy of William Smith by planting these trees and proud to be selected by the Arbor Day Foundation to be a part of this event,” says HWS Grounds Manager David Iannicello.
The Tree Campus USA® designation recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees, develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy urban forests and strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry efforts.
HWS’ selection as a Tree Campus USA® celebrates and recognizes the Colleges’ commitment to natural resource conservation and greening initiatives which can be shown through a culmination of decades of environmental conservation on campus, inspired by nurseryman William Smith. After working for a Geneva nurseryman, Smith and his two brothers started their own nursery raising and selling ornamental plants. Smith eventually focused his efforts on plant breeding and acquiring a large collection of natural history specimens. In 1906, he donated nearly $500,000 to establish William Smith College for women.
The campus now contains more than 1,500 trees from 42 genera and 73 species. Today multiple faculty, students, programs and departments influence the progress made toward developing a culture of environmental stewardship on campus.
“This is a terrific acknowledgement of our considerable environmental achievements and commitment to environmental stewardship,” says Sustainability Coordinator and Tree Advisory Committee member Jamie Landi ’08. “I’m very excited that Hobart and William Smith are receiving this recognition, and am looking forward to seeing the trees continue to be a vibrant part of our urban forest.”
Hobart and William Smith Colleges have created a Campus Tree Advisory Committee and a Campus Tree Care Plan. The 13-member committee includes representatives from HWS faculty, students, facility management, the Finger Lakes Institute and the Geneva community.
Among the campus natural resource conservation and stewardship initiatives are a 2:1 tree replacement policy; mulching of plantings to conserve moisture; and recycling of leaves and grass clippings from campus grounds to compost and later add to soil as an amendment for planting. Additionally, trees are moved whenever possible prior to construction.
The Tree Campus USA tree planting events are sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, Toyota and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The other five colleges and universities that received tree planting events this year include: Colorado State University; the University of Colorado Boulder; University of Illinois, Chicago; Virginia Commonwealth University and Purdue University.
Community members, students, faculty and staff are welcome to volunteer for the tree planting. Contact event organizer and Campus Tree Advisory Committee co-chair Sarah Meyer, community outreach coordinator at the Finger Lakes Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. HWS students may sign up through the Day of Service program.
The photo above, features a bronze statue of College founder William Smith that sits at the top of the Hill on campus. The 75 new trees will be planted just northeast of the statue on the Hill.