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PSU wins Tree Campus USA title

Portland State University has claimed a new title: Tree Campus USA.

PSU received the honor this month by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management on its 49-acre campus downtown.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, sponsored by Toyota.

Colleges and universities are honored for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

PSU met Tree Campus USA's five standards: 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.

“Given PSU's dense urban context, it is especially important to consider the impact on trees and habitat as we develop over time,” Jenny McNamara, PSU’s campus sustainability manager, said in a statement.

“This designation recognizes the hard work of students, faculty, and staff and formalizes our commitment to protecting our urban forest for the health and wellbeing of people and wildlife — both for the university and for the greater Portland community.”

The Arbor Day Foundation recognized PSU for its Tree Advisory Team, a group of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to health and well being of PSU’s tree canopy.

PSU also adopted a Campus Tree Care plan and regularly involves students in celebrating and caring for campus green space.

The campus Sustainability Office is working on a detailed campus tree inventory for planning and education purposes.

"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."

Toyota's sponsorship, meanwhile comes from their environmental commitment.

"Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a great impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become conservation leaders," said Latrondra Newton, chief corporate social responsibility officer for Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

For more: arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

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