Campus Named ‘Tree Campus USA’ - SUNY Cortland

Campus Named ‘Tree Campus USA’

 Campus Named ‘Tree Campus USA’

04/15/2014 

There are a lot of shady characters on the SUNY Cortland campus. Although most students have a passing familiarity with them, few know their real names.

They include accolade elm, amur corktree, black gum, the Colorado blue spruce and 49 other species of tree.

SUNY Cortland’s  dedication to establishing and sustaining a vibrant, urban forest as part of its effort to make the campus more “green” and sustainable recently earned the College recognition as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

“For the campus, it shows a commitment to creating an urban forest that is healthy, and it recognizes the urban forest as being important for human health, energy conservation, pollution mitigation and water conservation too,” said Steven Broyles, a SUNY Cortland professor of biological sciences. “The College’s recognition in Tree Campus USA fits nicely into the campus’s sustainability.”

The campus is celebrating these efforts throughout April during SUNY Cortland’s annual Green Days celebration. On Friday, April 25, the day before Arbor Day, Broyles will lead a walking tour of trees on campus and the College will plant a flowering catalpa tree near the Miller Building.

“Our campus trees provide so much for the environment because, not only do they remove greenhouse gases, but also, they are simply beautiful organisms,” said senior biology major Elizabeth Fabozzi. “Being recognized as a tree campus is a huge honor in the tree conserving and preserving community. It demonstrates how the College cares about all of its biotic components, especially the trees.”

Fabozzi of Staten Island, N.Y., traveled with Broyles to Albany on March 27, where SUNY Cortland received its official recognition as a Tree Campus USA. They were honored with a specialized plaque and a flag at the ceremony.

The Tree Campus USA designation serves to honor colleges, universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees, while engaging students and staff in the spirit of conversation, according to Mary Sweeney, program manager of the Arbor Day Foundation.

Created six years ago in 2008, the prime focus of the Tree Campus USA program was to help higher educational institutions around the country establish and sustain healthy community forests. Six years later, the program, supported with help from Toyota, has upheld that pledge, according to the official Arbor Day Foundation website. Campus participation has grown from 29 campuses to 192 campuses, from 5,867 trees to 41,808 trees, from $5 million in investment to $27 million and from 582,650 active student participants to more than 2 million.

To earn this distinction, SUNY Cortland had to meet the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry  required by Tree Campus USA: Establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for a campus tree program, an official Arbor Day observance and  sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

In the summer of 2012, four SUNY Cortland officials began the process by starting a Tree Advisory Committee. The founding members were Broyles; Nasrin Parvizi, the associate vice president of facilities management; David Horrocks, the assistant director of buildings and grounds; and Adam Levine, the data systems administrator for the physical plant.

The four solicited support from College President Erik J. Bitterbaum and begin the application process for Tree Campus USA. The advisory committee now comprises 10 members.

The committee organized service learning projects last year, including a Fall 2012 inventory of campus trees by Broyles’ tree biology class and his student interns.

“Two of the students presented posters on this project at Transformations Day last spring,” Broyles said. “These projects provide details on the diversity and ecological services, such as C02 sequestration, pollutant removal and energy savings, of the campus forest.”

Bitterbaum proclaimed a “lofty elm” near the Miller Building as the President’s Tree during the campus’ first officially celebrated National Arbor Day last April.

“The Tree Advisory Committee installed tree labels on more than 30 species of tree,” Broyles said. “These labels have education information on them and a QR code linked to a campus Web page where users can learn more about the species and access photographs,”

Some other of SUNY Cortland’s campus tree species include: dawn redwood, English oak, gingko, green ash, honey locust and – of course – the lofty elm, immortalized in SUNY Cortland’s historic alma mater.

“In addition to the wonderful aesthetic value of trees and green spaces, our campus forest removes atmospheric pollutants, cools the campus landscape during the summer and provides a buffer to bone-chilling winds in the winter,” Broyles said. “We are proud to have an urban forest of more than 1,500 trees representing 53 species on campus.”

 To learn more about the trees on SUNY Cortland’s campus, visit the College’s sustainability web page and follow the link to “campus trees.”

To learn more about the Tree Campus USA Program, visit its website.


More News

Former Hockey Player Jaime Treadwell to Exhibit

Former Hockey Player Jaime Treadwell to Exhibit

The 1999 grad's painting display "Fade to Gray" opens Monday, Aug. 29.


Students Start Fall Classes Aug. 29

Students Start Fall Classes Aug. 29

In all, roughly 6,900 students are expected to be enrolled this semester.


College Offers Fall ‘Wellness’ Series for Campus, Community

College Offers Fall ‘Wellness’ Series for Campus, Community

Starting Aug. 31, the program aims to foster mind, body and spiritual health.


Study Abroad Fair Set for Sept. 14

Study Abroad Fair Set for Sept. 14

Adventures in France, Mexico and elsewhere beckon those who attend the Sept. 14 Study Abroad Fair.


College Introduces New Name for Graphic Design and Digital Media Major

College Introduces New Name for Graphic Design and Digital Media Major

Formerly new media design, the major merges a foundation in fine arts with professional training.


Summer Research Fellows Seize Opportunity Outside Classroom

Summer Research Fellows Seize Opportunity Outside Classroom

Eleven students earned prestigious undergraduate research summer fellowship awards.


Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Timothy Delaune again shows an accurate reading on U.S. Supreme Court actions.


Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

The new project blends the study of biomechanics and speech pathology.


Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

This annual tradition launches the academic journey for first-year students.


SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

Keeping nearly 175 tons of plastic, paper and cardboard out of the solid waste stream.


Explore

Visit

Contact