Virginia Tech earns Tree Campus USA recognition
Newly launched campus tree inventory and interactive tree map are a strong reflection of university environmental stewardship
For the 11th consecutive year, Virginia Tech has been recognized for its best practices in campus community forestry through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program.
Launched in 2008, Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging students, faculty, and staff in conservation goals.
Virginia Tech achieved Tree Campus USA recognition by meeting five national standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, operating a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures toward trees, organizing an Arbor Day observance, and executing student service-learning projects. More than 650 trees have been planted across campus since 2008.
Trees are among the most visible representations of Virginia Tech’s commitment to environmental stewardship, as demonstrated by two recent projects.
Virginia Tech Facilities, the Virginia Tech Division of Operations GIS team, and the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation recently completed a large-scale collaborative inventory and analysis of more than 10,000 trees across 900 acres on the Virginia Tech campus.
In addition, the university community can now learn more about the trees that make the Virginia Tech campus so beautiful through an accompanying interactive campus tree inventory map.
The map includes identifying information for nearly 10,600 trees across campus, including tree type, species and origin details, height, and more. There are currently 225 different tree species in the campus tree inventory.
The tree inventory and interactive map will be useful in guiding long-term decision-making processes and preservation plans outlined in the Campus Master Plan, capital construction planning, and improving grounds and landscaping coordination. Both tools could also serve academic resources, as well as new venues for university members and visitors alike to engage with campus.
“Trees are a defining contributor to the natural landscape at Virginia Tech,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for operations at Virginia Tech. “The interactive tree inventory map is not only a highly valuable tool for campus planners, it’s also an exciting new way for students and community members to further engage with the campus landscape as a living laboratory.”