Cameron University has earned designation as a Tree Campus USA®. The national program, launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. President John McArthur and students, Kevin Stieb, president of Cameron’s Student Government Association, and Kathryn Parsley, a biology major and member of the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, attended the recognition ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City on March 13.
“Cameron’s commitment to campus beautification has resulted in a revitalized landscape for our campus,” says President McArthur. “We have added approximately 1,000 trees to campus since 2006, an initiative that would not have been possible without community support. Critical to this effort was the personal support of Regent Jon Stuart, whose generous gift provided funding for more than 200 trees. It is rewarding to know that our efforts to improve the environment at Cameron and to act as responsible stewards of that environment have been recognized with this national designation.”
To earn the distinction, Cameron had to meet five standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation. The standards are: establishment of a campus tree advisory committee, establishing a campus tree care plan, demonstrating evidence of dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, holding an Arbor Day observance, and promoting and sponsoring student service-learning projects related to the campus tree program.
Work towards achieving this recognition began nearly two years ago and was led by Dr. Terry Conley, Dean of the School of Science and Technology. The first step in this process was the development of the Campus Tree Care Plan, followed closely by the establishment of the Campus Tree Advisory Committee. The Campus Tree Care Plan provides clear guidance in the planting, care and maintenance, and when necessary, the removal of trees. It also coordinates closely with the university’s 2025 Campus Master Plan in the selection of native and adapted tree species for planting on the campus.
In April 2013, Cameron held its first public ceremony in observance of Arbor Day, during which Cameron students planted two new trees on campus. The Arbor Day observance is designed to be an annual event and will be coordinated through the Campus Tree Advisory Committee and the Director of Physical Facilities.
Cameron students have developed a tree tour on campus and at several other locations in the Lawton/Fort Sill community. Additional service learning activities are in development.
March 20, 2014