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Photo of students, faculty and staff at UW Oshkosh around a freshly planted tree during Earth Week 2016 at UW Oshkosh

Students, faculty and staff at UW Oshkosh stand around a freshly planted tree during Earth Week 2016 at UW Oshkosh.

The Arbor Day Foundation named the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh a 2015 Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management. This is the sixth consecutive year of recognition for UW Oshkosh.

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

UW Oshkosh achieved the recognition by meeting five standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program and an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

“Planted wisely, trees can reduce heating bills by serving as wind breaks around buildings and they can reduce cooling bills by shading properties and through the effects of evaporative cooling,” UW Oshkosh Sustainability Director Brian Kermath said. “Fruit trees can provide human food and essentially all trees can help sustain wildlife with nourishment and cover. For these and other reasons, the National Arbor Day Foundation recognizes organizations that establish and maintain healthy urban forests and trees. UW Oshkosh has been a proud recipient of the Foundation’s Tree Campus USA recognition since 2010.”

The City of Oshkosh also has a Tree City USA designation, and the integration of the campus into the urban forestry program facilitates a community-wide forestry perspective that improves canopy coverage and environmental sustainability as well as providing enhanced benefit to citizens and visitors.

“We appreciate the current partnership with UWO immensely and applaud the continuing efforts to value trees as an important piece of the urban landscape,” said Bill Sturm, City of Oshkosh landscape operations manager and city forester.

For UWO grounds and automotive supervisor Lisa Mick, the trees on campus are very valuable and provide learning opportunities inside the classroom.
“The trees are a learning tool for our biology classes, a means for cooling our buildings by providing shade, cover and food sources for the large varieties of animals and insects we have on campus, and just a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a summer day,” Mick said. “The fact that we are acknowledged for doing what should be our obligation to this world, just makes it better.”
At UW Oshkosh, there are nearly 50 species of trees.

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