Hope College has been honored with Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for the second year in a row for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Hope, which has more than 500 documented trees in its central campus, achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Currently there are 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“We’re grateful to have received Tree Campus USA® for a second year,” said Kara Slater, director of operations at Hope.  “The college’s trees are a beautiful and beloved part of our campus, and it’s affirming to have both them and the attention and care that we give them recognized.”

Among its other efforts focused on the campus’ trees, Hope has made a tradition of planting trees during each Earth Week and Arbor Day.  Across 2019, Hope planted a total of 97 trees, including through support from a $2,000 grant from the Eaton Conservation District – Michigan Arbor Day Alliance, to replace trees removed for construction or due to age or because they were unhealthy.  During the past two summers, faculty and student researchers at the college have worked in partnership with the City of Holland on an Urban Tree Canopy Research Project to inventory trees on city property and campus.

The Tree Campus USA® recognition both this year and last year runs in tandem with other national and statewide recognition that the college has received for its sustainability practices in grounds management through the years.  In October 2019, Hope received an Honor Award for exceptional grounds maintenance in the 2019 Green Star Awards competition of the Professional Grounds Management Society. In 2014, the college was certified by the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program for meeting the organization’s standards in overall grounds management practices.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. This work directly supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative — an unprecedented effort to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire 5 million tree planters by 2022. Last year, Tree Campus USA schools have collectively planted 34,515 trees and engaged 33,432 tree planters — helping us work toward these critical goals.  More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.