William Woods Again Named Tree Campus USA

William Woods University is a Tree Campus USA for the fourth year in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation has announced. In 2010, WWU was the first university in Missouri to achieve this status.

“Your diligence in improving the environment and quality of life at William Woods University contributes to a healthier, more sustainable world for us all,” Mary Sweeney, program manager of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in a congratulatory letter.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

To obtain this distinction, William Woods University has met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, 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.

“Your entire campus community should be proud of this sustained commitment to environmental stewardship,” Sweeney said.

At William Woods, there is a student organization specifically geared toward this goal. Knowing the Woods is active on campus, participating in the Campus Tree Care Committee, helping to ensure that the university’s trees are cared for in the best possible manner.

The organization is planning an Arbor Day tree-planting at 2 p.m. April 28, with the children from Fulton Preschool participating. At that time, the Missouri Conservation Center will present WWU’s Tree Campus USA recognition materials.

“I think it is awesome not only to be able to recognize our beautiful campus but to also work with our community to educate about the importance of trees,” Brittany Lenhart, president of Knowing the Woods, said.

Each year since 2009, the club partakes in Arbor Day celebrations, working with gracious donors to plant new trees on campus, whether in honor of a deceased faculty or staff member, a graduating a class, or simply to enhance the biodiversity of the Woods. The club also has collaborated with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

“It’s always fun to be involved with a student organization that is passionate about what they do,” Kacie Dielschneider, club sponsor, said. “I am extremely proud of the students of Knowing the Woods for being so involved in this project and receiving such positive results.”

The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.