The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the first campus in Wisconsin to achieve Tree Campus USA recognition for its dedication to campus forestry management in 2010.
There are five standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation that UW Oshkosh had to meet in order to receive Tree Campus USA status, according to Director of Sustainability Mike Lizotte.
The basic requirements include establishing a campus tree advisory committee, creating a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures to the campus tree care program, becoming involved in an Arbor Day observance and instituting a service learning project.
According to Oshkosh City Forester Bill Sturm, the committee formed about two years ago with UWO faculty, staff and students and himself as a representative from the city.
“Oshkosh has been a Tree City USA for 30 years and the designation of UWO as a Tree Campus USA brings improved, cooperative management of the community urban forest and has fostered partnerships toward the common goal of improving the level of tree care, environmental stewardship and increased tree planting,” Sturm said. “There are a diverse group of tree species present on campus and some trees with historical significance that increase the aesthetics of the campus and community and provide numerous environmental benefits to all who live in and visit Oshkosh.”
An online interactive map shows the location, name and species of over 1,700 trees and shrubs on the UW Oshkosh campus and was cataloged by a biology student in the summer of 2009.
The trees also make for a scenic look on campus and a great way for students to relax and get away from the noise of campus life.
“I think the trees really add a lot to the campus,” Lizotte said. “I used to be a biology professor, so I realize the value they have in teaching students.”
In honor of Earth Week, students and community members are welcome to participate in tree planting events on campus from April 19 through the 21. Volunteers will plant eight to ten foot trees on campus, which are donated by the city through the Taking Root Fund program.
View the interactive map of campus trees and shrubs at www.uwosh.edu/map/ppp.