Students and staff celebrate Texas Arbor Day 2021 at a celebration south of the Harrison building. (Bailee Utter/Staff Reporter)
print

Students from instructor Keith Whitworth’s sociology class learned that TCU has earned an award since 2016 for its beautiful trees on campus.

For the last five consecutive years, TCU has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Director of landscaping at TCU and certified arborist Erik Trevino spoke to students at a recognition event on Friday.

In order to earn the distinction, TCU met the following five requirements:

  1. TCU established a tree advisory committee consisting of students, staff members and members from the grounds team. The committee makes decisions regarding what trees should be planted across campus and how to celebrate Arbor Day. 
  2. TCU created a campus tree-care plan. This formalized plan explains how the 3,200 trees across campus are maintained.
  3. TCU met the annual expenditure threshold required by the Arbor Day Foundation. Trevino said this money comes from students’ tuition and costs approximately $3 to $4 per student annually. 
  4. TCU met the fourth requirement by hosting recognition events for Arbor Day two times per year. National Arbor Day occurs in April, but Texas Arbor Day is celebrated in November due to the climate being the best time of year to plant trees in Texas. 
  5. TCU met the final requirement by creating a service-learning project that engaged the student body. Students from Whitworth’s sociology class participated in a tree tour that showed the diversity in trees across campus.
Students learn about how TCU has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the last five years. (Bailee Utter/Staff Reporter

“I had no idea how many different types of trees that we had on campus, but I appreciate them way more now,” said Savanna Dastrup, a first-year communications major from Utah.

Benefits of trees on campus

Trevino discussed the benefits of trees on campus, including providing oxygen for humans, habitats for animals and shade during hot climates. 

Studies have shown people who spend more than two hours a week in nature have a more positive state of physical and mental wellbeing. 

“A big part of why TCU spends so much money on planting trees is because we are trying to create a warm, pleasant environment for our students when they may feel stressed,” said Trevino. 

In the few months that Trevino has been employed by TCU, he has successfully replanted the large American elm tree that was located near the Harrison building for many decades with two cedar elm trees for safety reasons.

TCU has a variety of trees on campus including oak trees, elm trees, sycamore trees and maple trees. 

How students can get involved

Brendan Lavy, a professor in the department of environmental sciences, is encouraging students to help him in a new project that measures trees across campus in order to quantify them for a new inventory. 

Lavy can be contacted via email at [email protected]

+ posts