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Colorado State Forest Service News

CSU Recognized as Tree Campus-Higher Education for 12th Consecutive Year

A group of students shovel dirt around a newly planted tree.
Students at Colorado State University took part in a tree-planting event celebrating Arbor Day and CSU’s commitment to planting, growing and caring for trees on campus. Photo: CSFS/Peterson

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – For the 12th straight year, Colorado State University is recognized as a Tree Campus Higher Education, highlighting how CSU exemplifies the Arbor Day Foundation’s commitment to a greener, more sustainable future. The Tree Campus Arbor Day Event on April 20 celebrated this continued focus on a healthy, vibrant campus for students and faculty.

The Colorado State Forest Service, Dean Aguirre of the Warner College of Natural Resources and CSU Facilities Management were joined by students from the Horticulture Department, the Warner College of Natural Resources and Pi Alpha Xi Honor Society on the Lory Student Center Plaza to celebrate Arbor Day, the tree planter’s holiday.

Attendees, which also included an entire forestry class, planted a variety of native gamble oak and Shumard oak. These trees are drought resistant and resilient species that can adapt with climate change, and they’re well suited for urban landscapes. The purchase of the trees was made possible through a generous donation from the CSU Bookstore.


A person address onlookers as they stand next to trees ready to be planted
Dana Coelho of the Colorado State Forest Service describes the many benefits trees bring to urban spaces. Photo: CSFS/Peterson

What is Tree Campus Higher Education?

Tree Campus Higher Education is an Arbor Day Foundation program that provides a framework for colleges and universities to grow and care for their community forests, requiring campuses to meet five standards: a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated budget, observing Arbor Day and engaging students through service projects. CSU is among over 400 campuses recognized across the country.

Colorado State University cares for more than 10,000 trees on the Larimer County campuses, investing more than $337,000 in the campus tree program in 2022. These investments are guided by the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, which is led by David Hansen with CSU Facilities Management, Alison O’Connor with CSU Extension, and Freddie Haberecht with the City of Fort Collins.

Why are trees important on college campuses?

Dana Coelho, Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager with the Colorado State Forest Service, presented the award to CSU and highlighted the many benefits of trees in urban and community spaces.

Trees on campus enhance the quality of life for students, faculty, staff and the entire community. They help reduce the amount of energy used on campus, they add beauty and provide important mental health benefits. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide, mitigating the effects of climate change. Trees on campus also provide environmental learning opportunities for students and the next generation.

Colorado celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday of April, and the national Arbor Day is the fourth Friday of April. No matter the date, planting a tree is a powerful symbol of care for community, campus and a greener future.

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