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For the fifth year in a row, the University of South Carolina Upstate has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.

The USC Upstate campus was the first public university in the state to achieve the honor, and is one of four universities in the state to be named a Tree Campus USA. The university is in prestigious company at this five-year milestone. Other recipients include Duke, the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech, Furman, University of Vermont, Arizona State, Oregon State and others.

“In 2008, when we first received Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation, we inventoried 1,471 trees,” says Bruce Suddeth, director of Landscape Services. “In 2012 we inventoried 2,318 trees – a difference of 847 trees planted over five years.”

Suddeth also noted that biology and botany classes were involved in the tree planting over the past year, which included the installation of 51 trees.

“We are fortunate that we have a number of visionary community leaders and university friends who donate trees to our campus inventory,” says Suddeth. “It’s been a pleasure to watch our entryways develop with new plantings, to see our arboretum take shape with a mix of established and new plants, to enjoy an allée of Golden Dawn Redwoods on the upper quad, and to watch the trees planted in the Rotary International Peace Park fill in at a healthy pace.”

“The Tree Campus USA program will have a long-lasting impact at the University of South Carolina Upstate as it engages college students and local citizens to plant trees and create healthier communities for people to enjoy for decades to come,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The university will benefit from exceptional tree-care practices on campus as it works with tree-care professionals in the community to improve the tree canopy in Spartanburg.”

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors college and universities and the leaders of the campus and surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. Tree Campus USA is supported by a grant from Toyota.

USC Upstate met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body. USC Upstate’s Landscape Services department was also required to submit a detailed inventory of trees, which included 131 species of trees in 59 genera.

More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.

For more information about the Tree Campus USA award, please contact Bruce Suddeth, director of Landscape Services, at bsuddeth@uscupstate.edu or (864) 503-5500.

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