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Waubonsee Earns Tree Campus USA Status

Waubonsee Community College has earned Tree Campus USA recognition for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. Waubonsee is one of 113 colleges and universities nationwide and just 12 Illinois colleges to receive this designation from the Arbor Day Foundation for 2010.

The status is awarded based on five core standards of tree care and community engagement, which include: establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.

Waubonsee held its first Arbor Day tree planting event last April and plans to repeat it again this year. Also ongoing is the service-learning project, which took the form of a Sugar Grove Campus tree inventory. 

This past fall, student volunteers used hand-held GPS technology and GIS mapping software to identify and plot the locations of 400 trees on the college’s 243-acre main campus. Remaining trees will be inventoried in upcoming semesters, and the resulting interactive map will serve as an invaluable tool to Campus Operations staff as they manage the college’s natural resources.

The Arbor Day Foundation launched Tree Campus USA in the fall of 2008 with the planting of trees at nine college campuses throughout the United States. Twenty-nine schools were named a Tree Campus USA in 2008, and in three years, the number of schools has more than tripled.