CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (February 20, 2017)–Kirkwood Community College has been recognized with 2016 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is the sixth time the college has received the honor.
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management as well as engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Kirkwood achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project. Currently there are 296 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”
According to Kirkwood Vice President of Facilities and Security Troy McQuillen, the recognition is a direct result of a concerted effort by the college to promote a sustainable environment.
“Kirkwood Facilities is committed to the sustainability of our campuses and the Tree Campus USA program is a result of that commitment,” said McQuillen. “Students, staff, faculty and visitors often comment on the campus trees and the impact they have to our landscapes. We will continue to be the leader in grounds initiatives and thank the Tree Campus USA program for recognizing Kirkwood Community College for its efforts.”
Kirkwood’s dedication to effective urban forest management is just a small part of the overall effort by the college to reduce its ecological footprint. In addition to a 2.5 MW wind turbine located on main campus, the college also utilizes solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and occupancy sensors among other tactics to limit its impact on the environment. Kirkwood has also incorporated environmentally-friendly curriculum into various programs that the college offers.
For more information on all the college’s efforts to positively impact the environment, go to www.kirkwood.edu/kirkwoodgreen.