USC Upstate Celebrates 10 Years of Recognition as a Tree Campus

February 23, 2018 at 9:34 am

For the 10th 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 six universities in the state to be named a Tree Campus USA. The university is in prestigious company at this 10-year milestone as 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.

“This is what we love doing,” said Bruce Suddeth, director of Landscape Services at USC Upstate. “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 the Upstate.”

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 landscaping throughout the campus.

USC Upstate was one the first campuses recognized when the Arbor Day Foundation launched the national Tree Campus USA program in 2008. At that time, Suddeth said USC Upstate inventoried 1,471 trees. Today, the campus has more than 2,500 trees, which when fully mature will provide a tree canopy to 60 percent of campus.

The program 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