MORRISVILLE, N.Y. — SUNY Morrisville once again has been honored for its commitment to effective urban forest management, receiving 2019 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation.
It is the seventh consecutive year the college has received the recognition from Tree Campus USA®, a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, which honors colleges and universities that show a commitment to encouraging students and university personnel to care for tree resources. Currently, there are 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
“Tree campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies, but also for the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Because of SUNY Morrisville’s participation, air will be purer, water cleaner and students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”
To be considered for the distinction, a campus must meet five standards: establish and maintain a campus tree advisory committee; create a goal-oriented campus tree-care plan; dedicate annual expenditures for a campus tree program; hold an Arbor Day observance; and conduct a student service-learning project.
SUNY Morrisville’s diverse tree collection allows for environmental, aesthetic and educational benefits. Several academic programs engage students in hands-on projects which include tree species identification, planting, pruning and surveying.
“Morrisville’s hands-on approach to learning makes it easy for our students to have a positive impact in our local environment,” said Rebecca Hargrave, who leads the efforts of the college’s tree campus advisory committee. “Planting and maintaining trees reinforces what we do in the classroom and Tree Campus USA® recognition is a reflection of that positive student work.”
Recently, Morrisville embarked on an inventory project with assistance from natural resource conservation and horticulture students.
“The inventory will be useful for managing the campus’s urban forest and also is a great applied-learning activity for the students, providing them with real-world job skills,” said Hargrave, associate professor of environmental science.
As the college undergoes major underground facilities upgrades, students will play a role in landscaping several areas on campus.
“Some of the previous canopy is being replaced with healthy, diverse new stock,” Hargrave said. “The campus tree board has been working with the Facilities Department to ensure the health of remaining trees and to select replacement varieties.”
SUNY Morrisville’s campus tree-care plan includes policies for planting, care and removal, as well as plans for tree protection and preservation.
SUNY Morrisville’s curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2020 issue and was among the top 10 performers for social mobility, and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2020 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about SUNY Morrisville, visit www.morrisville.edu.