By Tina Underwood, contributing writer:
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — The beauty for which the Furman campus is often praised in the media has much to do with the abundance, diversity and health of its tree population. Two national groups have recognized the university’s commitment to trees and its stewardship in effective forest management.
The Arbor Day Foundation has named Furman a 2018 Tree Campus USA, marking the university’s 11th straight Tree Campus designation since the program launched in 2008. The second recognition comes from The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum.
The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
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Furman achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, managing a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, observing Arbor Day and offering a student service-learning project.
There are 364 campuses across the United States with the Tree Campus USA recognition. Furman is one of seven college campuses in South Carolina to be designated as such.
Established in 2014, Furman’s George G. Willis Jr. Arboretum has renewed its Level 1 Accreditation through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. The arboretum aims to educate Furman students and the community about tree diversity, identification, conservation, care and value.
“As part of the Morton Register of Arboreta, Furman has an important role in our shared purpose to plant and protect trees. Accreditation in this work acknowledges Furman’s commitment to and fulfillment of professional criteria,” said Gerard Donelly, president and CEO of The Morton Arboretum.
In the Willis arboretum, there are over 280 labeled trees, representing more than 80 distinct species. Furman’s web-based public geographic information system identifies the location, common name, description, scientific name and family of its campus trees.
“We are proud to be a certified Level I Arboretum,” said Laura Bain, associate director of sustainability assessment at Furman’s Shi Center for Sustainability. “The quality and variety of our trees exemplify the forethought of our administration and the excellence of our Grounds Department. The arboretum contributes to both a beautiful campus and ample opportunities for scientific study and reflection on the natural world.”
Learn more about Furman’s George G. Willis Jr. Arboretum at http://arbnet.org/morton-register/george-g-willis-jr-arboretum.
More information about Tree Campus USA is available at https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/.
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