The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Randolph College has met the requirements to become certified as an affiliate of its Tree Campus USA® program. Randolph is just the eighth institution in Virginia to earn the recognition.
The Tree Campus USA designation honors colleges and universities across the United States for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. To obtain distinction, Randolph met five core standards for sustainable campus forestry, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
“If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time,” said Lauren Weyers, program coordinator for the Arbor Day Foundation. “Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use. Randolph College is stepping up to do its part. As a result of its commitment to effective urban forest management, Randolph is helping to provide a solution to these global challenges.”
This is not the first time Randolph’s trees have garnered special recognition. In 2013, the Lynchburg Tree Stewards identified the College’s Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) in front of Main Hall for its annual Heritage Tree Award. The Deodar Cedar was identified for consideration by community members and selected for the award by a panel of judges because of its historical and cultural significance.
“The Arbor Day Foundation inspires people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees,” said Allison Brooks ’18, Randolph’s sustainability and special projects coordinator. “That is a mission that really resonates with our campus and how we operate as stewards of our little slice of nature. This commitment to our trees fits in well with our previous commitments to pursuing carbon neutrality and climate resilience as signatories to the Presidents’ Climate Commitments and to conserving habitats for pollinators as a designated Bee Campus USA affiliate.”