Charlotte’s nationally recognized tree canopy is getting a boost, thanks to a collaborative effort to plant 31 trees on the Johnson C. Smith University campus on Friday, July 11.
As part of the Tree Campus USA® program, TreesCharlotte will join volunteers from Toyota, the Arbor Day Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) to plant four types of trees: gingko, red bud, dogwood and will oak. Tree Campus USA® is a national campaign leading the way in recruiting and training environmental leaders to support forward-thinking sustainable communities. In just six years, the organization has grown to host events on more than 200 campuses.
“Students throughout the country are looking for opportunities to give back to their campus community and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Tree Campus USA gives students that chance, and sets a terrific example for other colleges and universities.”
Each year, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota sponsor tree plantings on Tree Campus USA school grounds. The partnership with AKA led to planting events with other historic black colleges and universities such as Delaware State, Texas Southern and Alabama A&M University. The partnership also provided an opportunity for AKA to expand its service mission to embrace environmental stewardship.
TreesCharlotte is focused on its mission of planting 15,000 trees annually in Charlotte, primarily through volunteer efforts with local organizations. “While our traditional tree planting season ends in late spring, we are excited to collaborate with local partners like JCSU, Toyota and the Arbor Foundation to plant more trees in Charlotte,” said TreesCharlotte Executive Director Dave Cable, “every tree counts as we strive to increase Charlotte’s tree canopy to 50% by 2050.”
More About Tree Campus USA
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Tree Campus USA recognition is awarded to colleges and universities that meet five core standards for sustainable campus forestry:
- A tree advisory committee
- A campus tree-care plan
- Dedicated annual expenditures to their campus tree program
- An Arbor Day observance
- Student service-learning projects
All of these standards have the ultimate goal of reducing the footprint of college campuses and inspiring a lifelong passion for protecting the environment in today’s college students. TreesCharlotte applauds this goal and is proud of this collaboration.