USC Upstate Receives Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA Distinction

January 28, 2014 at 11:10 am

For the sixth 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.Tree Campus 2012 arch 2012 web

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 six-year milestone. Other recipients include Auburn University, Clemson, Duke, Furman, the University of South Carolina, University of Georgia and Florida Gulf Coast University to name a few.

“When we were first recognized as a Tree Campus USA in 2008, we inventoried 1,471 trees,” said Bruce Suddeth, director of landscape services. “In 2013, we inventoried 2,424 trees – a difference of 953 trees planted over six years.”

Suddeth noted that USC Upstate’s Landscape Services, which employs eight horticulturists on staff, and students were involved in the tree planting over the past year, which included the installation of 106 trees. About 60 percent of the University’s campus will be tree canopy once the plantings have matured, Suddeth said.

“This is what we love doing,” Suddeth said. “We are extremely grateful for the support we receive in keeping our campus beautiful through monies donated to the campus beautification fund, support through Arbor Day events on campus and the very generous support of tree enthusiasts in Spartanburg.”

Suddeth said USC Upstate has been very fortunate to have a number of community leaders and University friends who have helped to donate trees and other plantings to help shape the Susan Jacobs Arboretum and the Upstate Rotary International Peace Park, as well as to develop new entryways into campus and establish landscaping in parking areas and around buildings.

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

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.

More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at 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

USC Upstate will celebrate Arbor Day December 5, 2014. The featured speaker for the event will be Ted Stevens with Nurseries Caroliniana.

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