No matter where you’re from, trees and green space are an integral part of the college experience. They make campuses more livable, healthy and beautiful, benefiting students and the environment as a whole.
The University of Louisville has embraced this concept and for the 12th consecutive year, has been named among the Tree Campus Higher Education program of the Arbor Day Foundation.
The re-certification comes just ahead of this year’s National Arbor Day, April 29.
Tree Campus Higher Education was founded in 2008 to foster that tradition of excellence. The program provides a simple framework for colleges and universities to grow their community forests and achieve national recognition.
In Kentucky, the state Arbor Day is observed on April 1, and UofL held an Arbor Day celebration on that date to honor the 75th anniversary of the Hite Institute of Art & Design by planting a native, pollinator-friendly yellowwood tree next to Schneider Hall on the Belknap campus in memory of two Hite supporters — Mike Power (1943-2015) and his son David Power (1971-2021). Participants took home 40 native pawpaw saplings grown at UofL to plant in their neighborhoods. The Health Sciences Center Green Team also planted an American Holly between the Abell Administration Building and the School of Nursing.
UofL has earned re-certification by the program for efforts to protect, expand and diversify its community of trees, to educate about the vital role of trees, and to create a campus students, faculty, staff and alumni are proud of.
UofL is one of 392 colleges and universities nationwide and nine in Kentucky recognized by the Tree Campus Higher Education program.
“A commitment to trees can significantly reduce the amount of energy the campus and community consume,” said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives at UofL. “Planting and maintaining trees absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change. Green space provides important mental health benefits to students, faculty and staff, as well as encouraging physical activity.
“Involving our students in tree-related service-learning projects helps educate the next generation about the importance of caring for the environment. The recognition builds pride among UofL and the wider community.”