Chatham University has been recognized as a 2012 Tree Campus USA. The national Tree Campus USA program was launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. The program honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
Chatham obtained the Tree Campus USA distinction by meeting the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by the program, including the establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student-learning projects.
"Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for all of us".
With elements designed for the Andrew Mellon estate by the renowned Olmsted Brothers, Chatham's 39-acre campus encompasses a 32-acre designated arboretum featuring 115 different varieties of species, including dawn redwood, bald cypress, yellowwood, katsura tree, cucumber magnolia, and Carolina silverbell. The arboretum provides an outdoor classroom for students in the University's Landscape Architecture and Landscape Studies programs and an inviting place to stroll and to meditate.
In 1998, Chatham joined the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, now known as the American Public Garden Association (APGA). The APGA for North American public gardens and staff strengthens public gardens by supporting and promoting their work, value, and achievements in horticultural display, education, research, and plant conservation.
The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
This year, Chatham was one of just 21 colleges to be named to The Princeton Review's Green Rating Honor Roll. Chatham's commitment to sustainability and the environment earned it an AASHE STARS Gold Rating and recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, among others.