Looking around Missouri State University’s campus, it can be easy to take the natural beauty and landscaping for granted. But for the second year in a row, Missouri State earned the Tree Campus USA® recognition, which honors colleges and universities’ efforts in conservation and forestation.
The Springfield campus is home to more than 2,200 trees, which are cared for by Missouri State’s grounds services, including two arborists, who also plant approximately 30 trees per year.
“Following the ice storm of 2007, we took a major assessment of the management of our trees and made a concerted effort to inventory all of them and set up a comprehensive tree management plan to monitor the health of these very important campus assets,” said Bob Eckels, director of facilities management. “This included development of a plan for planting the proper trees in the right locations to create a quality outdoor experience for generations to come.”
In 2008, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota launched Tree Campus USA and established five core standards for sustainable campus forestry, including:
- Establishment of a tree advisory committee
- Evidence of a campus tree-care plan
- Dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program
- Arbor Day observance
- Sponsorship of student service-learning projects
“This is a reflection of the great work that John Clark, assistant director of facilities management – grounds services, and his staff do to make the MSU campus one for which we can all be proud,” added Eckels.
About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.
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