LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College has become the first higher education institution in Idaho to earn both Tree Campus USA and Arbnet Accreditation honors.
LC State received notice that it has received Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation after meeting its five standards. LC State’s Arboretum Committee worked on the applications and submitted prior to the Dec. 31 deadline to earn the distinction for 2019.
Tree Campus USA program recognizes colleges and universities throughout the United States that effectively manage their campus trees, connect with the community to foster healthy urban forests, and strive to engage students in learning opportunities with forestry efforts.
The five standards to meet Tree Campus USA recognition include having a tree campus advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance, and a Service Learning project related to the trees on campus.
Last fall, LC State earned Level I Arboretum Accreditation from the Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation Program for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism.
The honor comes nearly a decade after college officials held their initial meeting of the Arboretum Committee. The now 13-member committee includes faculty, staff, students and community members. The committee provides guidance for future planning, input on a comprehensive campus tree plan, education of the campus community about the benefits of trees, and development of a community connection related to the campus and community trees. The college’s Physical Plant is responsible for the care of the campus trees.
To earn Level I arboreta status, the site needs to be publicly accessible with at least 25 species of woody plants, one or a few employees or volunteers, a governing body, and an arboretum plan. A student inventory last spring showed the campus had 1,437 trees with nearly 100 species and cultivars identified.
The Arboretum Committee has created a self-guided tree tour that highlights 14 trees or tree groupings throughout campus. Brochures featuring the map and information about the tour will soon be located at the campus map station by the Administration Building.
The committee is planning an Arbor Day celebration on April 24, 2020.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with the goal of making the world greener and healthier through the planting of trees.