The Office of Sustainability and the Facilities Services Department capped off UT’s Earth Month Celebration with a ceremonial tree planting on Arbor Day.
A Sugar Maple was planted at the Engineering Quad to celebrate UT’s new designation as a certified Tree Campus USA university. UT is now the largest of eight universities in the state to hold this classification.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and sponsored by Toyota to honor colleges and universities for their effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
Ceremony presenters included UT Arborist Sam Adams, Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Services Dave Irvin, and TN Forestry representative Darren Bailey. Adams, Irvin, and Bailey were joined by Cassidy Quistroff, a senior and president of the Society for Ecological Restoration, to plant the tree.
“I am really pleased that we are planting another tree, one of many that we plant each year,” said Irvin. “These trees represent what we are doing across campus to enhance our environment, enhance our lifestyle, enhance our air quality, and really change our community for the better.”
UT achieved the Tree Campus USA designation by meeting the organization’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.
“Achieving Tree Campus USA status represents another step in UT’s journey to become a more sustainability institution,” Adams said. “It’s another way we can set an example to our university community that we value a healthy campus and a healthy planet.”
Planting trees is a priority on campus and this year alone the university has added nearly 100 new trees.