Of the approximately 9,452 institutions of higher education in the US, only 229 have been honored with the “Tree Campus USA” designation. For the third consecutive year, Chatham University is among them. We’re one of nine in Pennsylvania, and the only one in Western PA.
To become a Tree Campus USA, an institution must meet five criteria:
- Campus Tree Advisory Committee to help provide guidance for planning and outreach. Ours includes Mary Whitney from the faculty, Elise Richmond from the student body, Kirstin N. Spirl from facility management, and Lisa Ceoffe, City Forester for the City of Pittsburgh, as the community representative.
- Campus tree care plan that sets policy and clear guidance for planting, maintaining, and removing trees, communicating with the college community.
- Allocated funds for the plan. The organization recommends about $3 per full-time student.
- The campus must observe Arbor Day. This year at Chatham, this will coincide with University Day on May 1.
- Service learning project that provides an opportunity to engage students with projects related to trees. To fulfill this requirement, Chatham has one tree planting in spring, and another in fall. The 2015 spring planting will occur on University Day/Arbor Day (weather permitting).
With elements designed for the original Mellon estate by the renowned Olmsted Brothers, Chatham’s campus encompasses a 32-acre arboretum featuring 115 varieties of species, including Japanese Flowering Crabapple, River Birch and Kentucky Coffee tree.