Courtesy of Bowie State University
Bowie State was honored with the 2022 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective forest management to enhance the campus environment.
The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its’ Tree Campus Higher Education program began in 2008 to encourage colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses.
“This designation shows everyone that the university is truly committed to embracing and preserving the natural environment around us and lowering the carbon footprint,” said Jabari Walker, Bowie State’s energy and sustainability coordinator. “As the campus grows, our tree inventory should grow. Trees help cleanse the surrounding air, filter harmful carbon pollution, enhance mental wellness as well as provide shade with increasing temperatures due to climate change.”
Trees on campus can help lower energy costs, provide cleaner water and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students’ cognitive health and provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses while creating shaded areas for studying and gathering.
The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. BSU achieved the distinction by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning project. Currently, there are 411 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
“This is very prestigious,” said Walker. “The designation has to be renewed each year which will motivate BSU’s campus community to make it an annual mission to satisfy the criteria of the foundation.”
“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dam Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students’ and faculty’s overall well-being.