The University of North Georgia (UNG) has earned a Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
Dr. Allison Bailey, associate professor in UNG’s Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis, led the student tree inventory project that assisted UNG in meeting the requirements for Tree Campus USA status. She also led a team of students in a tree canopy project with the Georgia Forestry Commission.
"Tree Campus USA designation demonstrates our commitment to helping sustain and maintain trees in the state of Georgia," Bailey said. "Educating our students and community about tree canopy is a real point of pride."
Bailey said being a Tree Campus carries other benefits, too.
"Green space gives UNG students an area to relax and be outside. Planting trees also reduces UNG’s carbon dioxide output and maintains a healthy atmosphere," she said.
In 2016, students completed a tree inventory project on the Gainesville Campus and similar inventories on UNG's Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega and Oconee campuses will be completed in 2017 using an interactive map tool and online apps.
UNG achieved the designation 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.
"Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment," said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all."
Currently there are 296 campuses across the United States with this designation.