OBU has been honored for the second consecutive year with the “Tree Campus USA” recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for the University’s commitment to effective urban forest management. The Tree Campus USA Program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

To obtain this distinction, OBU met the five core standards for effective campus forest management: 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.

OBU was recently recognized by Oklahoma Forestry Services and the Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council for achieving this national certification from the Arbor Day Foundation. The University was among 38 Oklahoma organizations honored at the state Arbor Week Kickoff celebration held at Oklahoma City University March 7. William Gordon, groundskeeper II, and Lisa Hair, groundskeeper II/ gardener, accepted the award in behalf of the University.

“We celebrate these groups that have worked hard to achieve Arbor Day Foundation certifications and are benefiting their communities and campuses in numerous ways,” said State Forester and Oklahoma Forestry Services Director Mark Goeller. “We also encourage other communities and campuses to accept the challenge and begin improving the health and quality of life for people in their communities and on campuses.”

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Currently, there are more than 300 colleges across the United States with this recognition.

“We are the only accredited Arboretum in Oklahoma, and are extremely pleased to be recognized as a Tree Campus USA,” Hair said. “Protecting our campus environment is very important to our grounds crew and also to the administration of OBU. We are delighted to have the support of our University in making this a reality.”

OBU will be hosting its annual Arbor Day tree planting event Tuesday, April 2, at 2 p.m., between WMU and Shawnee Hall. The University will be planting a Cedar of Lebanon, rich in biblical history. State forester Mark Bays will be in attendance. OBU now has more than 150 varieties of trees on campus.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

For more information about OBU, visit www.okbu.edu.