The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America, Inc., recently designated UTC as a 2011 Tree Campus USA®. The national program “honors higher education institutions and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.”
“Your diligence in improving the environment and quality of life at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga contributes to a healthier, more sustainable world for us all,” said Mary Widhelm, Program Manager, Arbor Day Foundation.
According to Dr. Hill Craddock, professor in the Department of Biology and Environmental Studies, the designation was the result of a student-led effort by the UTC Chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. TriBeta is “a society for students…dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.”
Craddock acknowledged that “the UTC grounds crews and facilities workers do the hard work” of planting and preserving the beauty of the campus arboretum. He is hopeful the University can successfully retain the designation from year to year.
UTC achieved 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.