University of Findlay Receives TreeCampus Higher Education Recognition
For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Findlay has been honored with TreeCampus Higher Education recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. A formal presentation of the 2021 awards was made at the 2021 Northwest Ohio TreeCity and TreeCampus Higher Education Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 11 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.
Formerly known as TreeCampus USA, the TreeCampus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for establishing and sustaining healthy community forests and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
“Our campus is a living laboratory. Students in many courses, including Biodiversity, Botany, and Ecology, use the trees for learning activities,” said Ben Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and member of the University’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee. “From identifying species to studying ecological relationships, our students are interacting with the trees and using them to learn about biology, ecosystem function, and climate change.”
UF achieved the title by meeting or exceeding TreeCampus Higher Education’s five standards of maintaining a tree advisory committee, creating a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for the campus tree program, holding an Arbor Day observance, and providing student service-learning projects.
“For the past three years, our service-learning project has been young tree training,” Dolan said. “I teach volunteers, which includes students and faculty, the process of correctly pruning young trees.” He noted UF’s Physical Plant staff are also a crucial part of this process as they provide important maintenance to trees across campus including pruning, monitoring for diseases and pests, selecting the best species to plant for different locations, and providing tools and expertise for the service-learning activities.
The 2021 Northwest Ohio TreeCity and TreeCampus Higher Education Awards Ceremony was hosted by the city of Findlay, village of Arcadia, village of Ottawa, and University of Findlay. Leaders from each community were in attendance as well as representatives from the Arbor Day Foundation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Stephanie Miller, regional urban forester, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry said, “The TreeCampus designation shows that these schools and cities care about their trees and all the benefits they bring to their communities. This is a really nice way for these communities and campuses to celebrate the great work they’ve done.”