October 16, 2008 - Nebraska City, NE - The Arbor Day Foundation today announced the creation of the Tree Campus USA program, which will recognize college campuses that are committed to planting, maintaining and celebrating trees. To kick off the launch of its Tree Campus USA program, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota honored Northern Kentucky University as a Tree Campus USA site with a tree-planting celebration at its Highland Heights, Ky., campus.
Tree Campus USA is supported by a $750,000 grant from Toyota.
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.
Nearly 1,000 trees will be planted during the Tree Campus USA events.
"We are pleased to team up with Toyota and kick off the Tree Campus USA program by honoring Northern Kentucky University as a Tree Campus USA university and by holding nine tree-planting events across the country," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "This program will have a lasting impact because it will encourage students and local citizens to work together to create healthier communities for everyone to enjoy. It will also foster better tree-care practices, and will connect students and campus leaders with tree-care professionals in their community."
Tree Campus USA recognizes the best practices in campus community forestry throughout America. The aim of the program is to honor college campuses and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.
Colleges and universities will be required to meet 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 plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
"Toyota has been a proud partner of the Arbor Day Foundation since 2001," said Patricia Pineda, group vice president of Toyota Motor North America. "We are thrilled to be involved in efforts that will educate the next generation of environmental stewards on the importance of trees."
This is the second time the Arbor Day Foundation has teamed with Toyota in 2008 to help college students plant trees. Earlier this year, they created a unique Facebook application called Tree Planter, where Facebook users can plant a real forest through the social networking site. So far, more than 40,000 real trees will be planted in America's forests through Tree Planter's virtual gifts. Each virtual tree that is given and planted in the Facebook Forest is matched with a real tree, planted in a real forest, by the Arbor Day Foundation through the support of Toyota.
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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