EOU named Tree Campus USA®

Tree Campus USA

EOU is the sixth school in Oregon to meet the five qualifying standards to become a Tree Campus USA.

Arbor Day Foundation honors EOU with 2016 Tree Campus USA® recognition

Story and photos by Laura Hancock, Communications Coordinator, 541-962-3585 

LA GRANDE, Ore. May 1, 2017 – Effective urban forest management has garnered Eastern Oregon University recognition as a 2016 Tree Campus USA® from the Arbor Day Foundation.

The honor was announced Friday during EOU’s celebration of National Arbor Day, which featured planting a Douglas fir on the future site of a new grove of trees and native grasses.

David Yoder, campus grounds coordinator and ISA certified arborist, has been championing the cultivation of EOU’s urban forest and convened the tree advisory committee responsible for devising a long-term plan.

David Lageson, director of facilities and planning, Gary Keller, professor of business, students Mitch Staeffler and Victor Dias, and Brian Kelly, a consulting arborist and restoration director for the Hells Canyon Preservation Council, sit on the committee.

“Thanks to David for spearheading this,” said Tom Insko, EOU president, before grabbing a shovel to help clear the hole that had been pre-dug in anticipation of the young state tree’s transplantation.

EOU President Tom Insko pitches in with planting a young Douglas fir – Oregon's state tree – on National Arbor Day, April 28. Campus Grounds Coordinator David Yoder, left, and EOU’s Tree Advisory Committee coordinated the campus celebration.

EOU President Tom Insko pitches in with planting a young Douglas fir – Oregon’s state tree – on National Arbor Day, April 28. Campus Grounds Coordinator David Yoder, left, and EOU’s Tree Advisory Committee coordinated the campus celebration.

“Mr. Yoder is so passionate about this, and the fact that Eastern is committed to being a Tree Campus USA is tremendous,” Insko added. “It fits with our mission and it fits with our community, so thanks to the committee that made this happen.”

EOU is the sixth school in Oregon to meet Tree Campus USA’s five standards which are maintaining 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.

“This is a big deal, because this is the first time EOU has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA,” said Jamie Knight with the Oregon Department of Forestry, the entity that administers both the Tree Campus and Tree City USA programs for the state.

“In the forestry world, it’s kind of a joke that you can plant a tree upside down in western Oregon and it would grow, so what you guys are doing here is pretty amazing,” she added. “You have a beautiful campus, and I’m so excited to be here today and part of this event.”

The national Tree Campus USA program was created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management, and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

“Without the Arbor Day Foundation, there is no event like this, and the Oregon Department of Forestry has been so supportive in helping us move through the process,” Yoder said.

Currently there are 296 campuses across the U.S. with this recognition. The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46.7 million in campus forest management last year.

For more information about the program visit arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

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