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NU is a tree’s favorite place to be

Planting TreesNorthwestern’s Evanston campus is honored to join more than 200 colleges and universities in being nationally acknowledged for identifying procedures and practices to establish, protect, and maintain its trees. This April, Northwestern’s Evanston campus received 2014 Tree Campus USA recognition for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor Universities and Colleges for successfully overseeing their campus forest and for engaging faculty, staff, and students in tree conservation. In order to receive this title, a higher education institution must meet five standards. The first is to form a campus tree advisory committee, consisting of a student, faculty member, facility management staff member, and a community member. The second standard is to create a Campus Tree Plan, a goal-oriented strategy meant to set policies and clear guidelines for planting, maintaining, and removing trees. The third standard is writing out an annual expenditure for the tree program, which is intended to cover the costs of maintaining our tree landscape, as well as funding outreach programs and educating volunteers. The fourth and fifth standards are simple: observe Arbor Day and engage students in the preservation of trees on campus.

There are also a couple tree-related programs taking place this Spring. During Earth Week, the Arbor Day Tree Planting and the NU Tree Walk, are both meant to educate the NU community on our natural landscape and the importance of the trees on campus. Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Psychology, Eli Suzukovich III and Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Professor Doug Medin, in collaboration with the American Indian Center of Chicago, have launched a new program to tap the maple trees on the Evanston campus to provide students with a hands-on experience with the natural production of maple syrup. Another goal of this program is to educate students about Native American traditions and stories. Email Eli if you are interested in learning more.