Hope College has received 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education® recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation, the third year in a row that the foundation has honored Hope for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Hope achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’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 403 campuses across the United States with the recognition.

“Our trees are a treasured part of Hope — the Pine Grove in the center of campus, for example, has been a landmark for generations,” said Kara Slater, director of operations at Hope.  “We take our responsibility to be good stewards of them seriously, not only for ourselves but for the Holland community and for the future, and it’s a team effort.”

Among its other activity focused on the campus’ trees, Hope has made a tradition of planting trees during each Earth Week and Arbor Day.

During the past three summers, faculty and student researchers at the college have worked in partnership with the City of Holland and Holland in Bloom on an Urban Tree Canopy Research Project to inventory trees on city property and campus.  Those interested in learning about any specific tree can do so via the app TreeSap, which was developed by a Hope faculty-student research team and is available for iOS.

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. 

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus Higher Education 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 Higher Education schools have collectively planted 39,178 trees and engaged 81,535 tree planters — helping us work toward these critical goals.