April 11, 2023

Wayne State gains national Tree Campus status

DETROIT – Spring has sprung and Wayne State University is being recognized for its commitment to urban forest management.

For the first time ever, Wayne State has been named a Tree Campus Higher Education institution by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Arbor Day Foundation, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its Tree Campus program began in 2008 to encourage higher education institutions to plant trees on their campuses.

Students and parents gathered during an orientation weekend on Wayne State's beautiful 200-acre urban campus, which is home to 1,300 trees.
Students and parents gathered during an orientation weekend on Wayne State's beautiful 200-acre urban campus, which is home to 1,300 trees.

Wayne State’s 200-acre campus in the heart of Midtown is home to 1,300 trees.

“We have passionate students, faculty, alumni and staff who deeply care about beautifying our campus while making a positive environmental impact in Detroit,” said Donna Reincke, associate director of Grounds Services at Wayne State. “It is wonderful to partner together through planting trees to help achieve that, especially being located in an urban environment, which poses its own unique set of challenges.”

Currently, there are 411 campuses across the United States with the Tree Campus recognition. Wayne State is one of 10 Michigan universities to receive the distinction. 

Trees on college campuses, particularly in urban spaces, can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students' mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic, and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.

“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.

The Tree Campus program honors universities for effective campus forest management while engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Wayne State achieved the honor by meeting the program’s five standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for campus trees, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.

Wayne State will celebrate this year’s Arbor Day, on April 28 at 10 a.m., by planting nine Princeton elm trees near Old Main on the south side of West Warren Avenue. The elms were chosen for their strong disease resistance and tolerance to many adverse site conditions such as road salt exposure and harsh soils.

“The Tree Campus Higher Education program,” Reincke said, “will allow us to continue to focus on sustainability and make a difference in the community through educating, planting and caring for campus trees year after year.”

Faculty spotlight


Bill Roose
Phone: 313-577-5699
Email: bill.roose@wayne.edu

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