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Arbor Day Foundation Designates LSUA 'Tree Campus USA'

Released: 02/05/2010

LSU Alexandria has been designated a Tree Campus USA university by the Arbor Day Foundation, announced John Rosenow, chief executive of the Nebraska City, Neb.-based organization.

Tree Campus USA recognizes colleges for promoting urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. The program is supported by a grant from Toyota. LSUA is only the fourth university in Louisiana to earn Tree Campus USA designation.

Rosenow said LSUA met the five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. The requirements are a campus tree advisory committee; a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the tree-care plan; involvement in Arbor Day observances; and a service-learning project to engage the student body.

”This well-earned designation for LSU Alexandria will have a long-lasting impact as it motivates students and local citizens to plant trees and create healthier communities for decades to come,” said Rosenow. “The campus will benefit from exceptional tree-care practices as it continues to work with professionals in the community to improve the tree canopy.”

David Wesse, vice chancellor for finance and administrative services, has spearheaded the planting of 210 trees at LSUA in annual Arbor Day observances that began in 2004. Species include live oak, magnolia, red oak, catalpa, black gum, water oak, swamp chestnut, white oak, sycamore, cedar and ginkgo, which Wesse said “turn a brilliant ‘LSUA yellow’ each fall.”

The LSUA master plan calls for a walking trail that winds its way through many of the trees. The campus is punctuated by several mature live oaks, some of which are estimated to be 250 years old. Six of the live oaks are named in honor of distinguished contributors to the university. All of the named oaks eventually will be illuminated at night.

“Vice chancellor Wesse and Bob Karam (executive director of facility services) have done a terrific job with our Arbor Day observances and caring for our trees all year long,” said Dr. David Manuel, chancellor. “Trees are vital to the health and landscape of our campus, and we will continue to develop our tree-planting plan. We’re very pleased that the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized LSUA in this fashion.”

LSUA science faculty has involved students in class projects to conduct a campus census, categorize and monitor the trees.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit tree conservation organization with nearly one million members. Additional information is available at arborday.org.