Tarrant County College Southeast was recognized as a 2019 Tree Campus USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
When it earned the designation for the first time in 2009, TCC Southeast was only the third college or university in Texas to receive the Tree Campus USA® recognition. Currently, there are 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition. TCC also was named an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program in 2018, becoming the nation’s 44th educational institution to be certified as a site designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.
Tree Campus USA is a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. TCC Southeast achieved the title by meeting the Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project, according to the news release announcing the recognition.
“The Southeast Campus wanted to be one of the first colleges in Texas to earn the designation of being a Tree Campus. The desire grew out of a project organized by students in one instructor’s biology course,” said William Coppola, Ph.D., TCC Southeast president.
“At that time, the grounds supervisor was a certified arborist and took the initiative to get the application and fill it out. We also were assisted by Arlington’s arborist and have had a productive working relationship with the city ever since.”
The Arbor Day Foundation reports it has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. This work directly supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative — an unprecedented effort to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire 5 million tree planters by 2022. Last year, Tree Campus USA schools have collectively planted 34,515 trees and engaged 33,432 tree planters — helping them work toward their critical goals, according to the Foundation.
More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.