Tomorrow is the last chance to vote for up to five of your favorite Tree Campus USA events at arbordaynow.org, with the winning campuses receiving a $1,000 prize from the Arbor Day Foundation.
The $1,000 award must be used toward an Arbor Day celebration or service learning project involving college students and focusing on tree-planting or tree care. Winners will also receive up to 100 free t-shirts and signage for their event.
Ten campuses are in the running as finalists: American University, Arizona State University, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Elmhurst College, the University of Maryland, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the University of Rochester and Virginia Tech.
Students, faculty and staff are definitely mobilized – as of this afternoon, nearly 40,000 votes had been cast. Yesterday, the Daily Nebraskan, the student newspaper at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, ran a story about the campus participation in the contest and encouraged people to vote.
The best way to celebrate Arbor Day is by planting trees, and many Arkansans are already doing just that. In late January, Entergy launched its second-year partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to offer free trees to customers through the Energy-Saving Trees program.
Nearly 2,000 Entergy customers in Arkansas ordered 3,384 trees to help shade their homes and reduce energy bills.
Entergy gave out a total of 7,000 trees to customers in four states – Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas – meaning Arkansans claimed nearly half of the trees available. Many learned about the Energy-Saving Trees program through the community news site Arkansas Matters.
Arbor Day Foundation members and others are encouraged to contact their utility providers about participating in Energy-Saving Trees.
The State of Arkansas is currently home to 40 Tree City USA communities, accounting for nearly one million people. The largest Tree City USA in Arkansas is Little Rock (pictured above), population 183,333; the smallest is Beaver, population 80.
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a tree planting event at Florida Gulf Coast University near Ft. Myers. The event was held on Florida Arbor Day – January 20 – and drew several dozen students, with 40 laurel oak trees planted.
It’s difficult to overstate how much the campus needed those trees. Library Lawn always had the potential to be a great place to study, socialize, or reflect, were it not for the beating sun.Students broke into a sweat just from crossing the quad.
The shade provided by the 40 new trees will help make Library Lawn a campus destination.
Florida Gulf Coast University, a Tree Campus USA for three years in a row, has been a terrific partner for the Arbor Day Foundation and a model for others. Vikki McConnell, assistant director of the campus physical plant staff, and Keishla Negron, a senior and student government sustainability director, have been especially vital.
“Tree Campus USA really helped lay the foundation for the nucleus of our campus,” Negron told me.
Tim Clark of the Campus Relations and Marketing Team put together a video that nicely captures the energy and excitement of last month’s event. Take a look below.