MSU earns 2019 Tree Campus USA award

Photo of Paul Swartz, Jeff Wilson, Tressa Wahl, Carolyn Miller and Jerry Wahl accepting the Tree Campus USA award

Pictured left to right; Paul Swartz, Jeff Wilson, Tressa Wahl, Carolyn Miller and Jerry Wahl

April 23, 2019

2018 marks the second year in a row that MSU has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA institution.

The award is granted to two- and four-year accredited colleges and universities that meet five standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation: establishment of a campus tree advisory committee, formation of a campus tree care plan, creation of a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, holding Arbor Day observances and completion of a service learning project.

The single most important aspect of the Tree Campus USA award is that MSU receives due recognition nationally for what we have been doing for over 150 years, namely providing stewardship over the arboricultural legacy of the MSU campus, our commitment to preserve/conserve our campus forest,” said Frank Telewski, professor of plant biology and director of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and campus arboretum.

MSU’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee is comprised of staff from across campus including: Dr. Frank Telewski; Jim Kielbaso, Department of Forestry; Bert Cregg, Department of Horticulture; Amanda Wakefield, Landscape Architecture Foundation; and IPF’s Tressa Wahl, Paul Swartz (retired) and Jerry Wahl.

“A lot of people were involved with the drafting of the management plan, especially the members of the Campus Landscape and Stewardship Committee,” said campus arborist, Jerry Wahl.

“The site construction crew at Landscape Services helped out with the service learning project, and will plant a tree again this year at our Arbor Day event on April 26. Our landscape architects within IPF also play a huge role designing all of the plantings on campus,” said Wahl.

Reapplication for the award must happen every year, showing that we have fulfilled the five standards; and IPF is dedicated to continued pursuit of this recognition.

“We have been committed to the goals and objectives outlined in the Tree Campus USA/Arbor Day Foundation award for longer than the existence of the award and it is wonderful that there is now a mechanism by which we can receive broad recognition for our efforts,” said Telewski.

He added, “In addition to the trees we are committed to plant and nurture we also nurture and care for trees that pre-date the MSU campus by hundreds of years.  We take our trees and arboricultural history very seriously.”