The National Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Forestry Bureau announced that Clarke University has received the 2021 Tree Campus USA award. This is the 10th year the university has earned the designation.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. As a tree campus, the university commits to initiatives such as planting at least six trees per year, establishing a tree care and maintenance plan, and structuring service-learning projects around trees on campus, among other activities. For Clarke University, this aligns with the tradition of all graduating classes since 1906 planting a Heritage Tree, as well as other efforts on campus.
“Clarke’s recognition as a Tree Campus USA designee reflects the deep connection the Clarke community has to our landscape,” said Clarke Assistant Director of Facilities Joel Leach. “Our historic trees, heritage trees, and our annual tree care program embody this connection by demonstrating our commitment to carefully steward a priceless campus feature. To be one of only a handful of schools in Iowa with this designation reflects our ambition to be sustainability leaders rather than sustainability followers.”
Tree care is just one of the ways Clarke University demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and local resources. In addition to maintaining a Tree Campus USA status, Clarke has an active Sustainability Committee and student group that have been instrumental increasing recycling and energy efficiency efforts on campus. In 2021, we aim to increase our sustainability efforts by joining the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Under this organization’s guidance, Clarke University will explore even more tools and resources to create a positive impact on our campus and community.
More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA. For more information about Clarke’s award, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6495.