October 16, 2008 - Highland Heights, KY - The Arbor Day Foundation today recognized Northern Kentucky University for its best practices in campus community forestry through its new Tree Campus USA program. To celebrate this achievement, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota held a tree-planting event on the Northern Kentucky University campus to officially kick off Tree Campus USA. Eight other college campuses across the U.S. will also be recognized this fall for their efforts.
Tree Campus USA, a new program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.
Tree Campus USA is supported by a $750,000 grant from Toyota.
Northern Kentucky University met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
"The Tree Campus USA program will have a lasting impact at Northern Kentucky University and throughout the country because it will engage students and local citizens to plant trees and create healthier communities for people to enjoy for generations to come," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Northern Kentucky University will benefit from better tree-care practices on campus, and it will help connect the university with tree-care professionals in their community to improve the tree canopy in Highland Heights."
A total of 50 trees will be planted at Northern Kentucky University during the tree-planting event, which will be held near the Welcome Center at 1 Nunn Drive in Highland Heights from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Another 50 trees will be added in early November.
The trees planted near the Welcome Center during the Tree City USA Campus Tour will add much-needed shade and beauty to this area of campus. The Welcome Center is located between the school's arboretum and the new Bank of Kentucky Arena, and the trees planted there will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.
"The additional trees provided by Toyota and the Arbor Day Foundation will provide a great transition from the arboretum through the Welcome Center and over to the arena," said James C. Votruba, president of Northern Kentucky University. "These trees will fill this wide open gap in our campus."
"We are so proud to support Tree Campus USA on both a national and local level," said Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. "Toyota's operations throughout the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati region have a number of graduates from Northern Kentucky University and we are glad that the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized this fine member of our community."
Tree Campus USA's kickoff events will also plant trees later this fall at the University of Michigan, University of Texas, Arizona State, Oregon State, the University of Nebraska, Virginia Tech, the University of California-San Diego, and Jackson State in Mississippi. A total of nearly 1,000 trees will be planted during the Tree Campus USA events.
More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.
About Toyota: Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, with another under construction in Mississippi. 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. Through its corporate initiatives, manufacturing operations and philanthropy, Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. In 2007, Toyota contributed more than $56 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.
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