AASHE Announces Tree Campus USA Planting Event Winners

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Paul Rowland, Executive Director, AASHE


AASHE Announces Tree Campus USA Planting Event Winners

DENVER, Colo. (March 12, 2012) - In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has announced the campuses chosen for Tree Campus USA® planting events this spring. One hundred trees will be planted as part of a service learning project or Arbor Day celebration at Colorado State University; University of Colorado Boulder; University of Illinois, Chicago; Virginia Commonwealth University; Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY); and Purdue University (IN).

AASHE is a three-year partner of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program, which has awarded national recognition to colleges and universities for effective community forestry management since 2009. AASHE is working with Arbor Day Foundation on the planting events to help campuses meet sustainability goals through planting and caring for existing trees. The selected campuses have started the process of becoming Tree Campus USA institutions and Colorado State University recently received its formal recognition.

"Our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation has allowed us to expand our services to campus sustainability officers,” says AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. "The new efforts that recognize tree planting on campuses serve multiple purposes, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to creating safe and healthy areas for relaxation and reflection.”

"We’re gratified to be working with AASHE on bringing the spirit of conservation to college students throughout the country,” says Arbor Day Foundation Chief Executive John Rosenow. "Planting and properly caring for trees is a key element of any campus sustainability effort."

Currently, 91 Tree Campus USA institutions are also AASHE members, and 28 of those institutions have used their Tree Campus USA recognition to earn credits toward AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) certification, a standard for sustainability in higher education.

To earn Tree Campus USA recognition, schools must meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement including the creation of a campus tree advisory committee and tree-care plan; dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; Arbor Day celebrations; and service-learning projects.

AASHE is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff and students, as well as the business that serve them, with: thought leadership and essential knowledge resources; outstanding opportunities for professional development; and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.

STARS is a self-reporting system that incorporates environmental, economic, and social indicators, that reports achievements in the areas of: Education & Research, Operations, and Planning, Administration & Engagement. Over 300 colleges and universities from around the world are currently participating. For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.

About the Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half a billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit www.toyota.com/philanthropy.