Baldwin City, Kan. — The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that Baker University is a Tree Campus USA this year for its commitment to promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. The first university in Kansas to be recognized with the distinction, Baker has been honored five consecutive years by the foundation.
To obtain this status, Baker University met the five core standards for effective campus forest management: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
“Baker’s entire campus community should be proud of its sustained commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Mary Sweeney, program manager of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We applaud Baker for its commitment to the community and to the trees of Baker University and for helping create a healthier planet for us all.”
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Tree Campus USA is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.
Members of the Baker Arboretum committee are Roger Boyd, Nate Poell, Steve Wright, Tom Kennedy, Jeremy Portlock, Chris Hamill and Katie Doolittle.
“The continued dedication shown by Steve Wright and the grounds crew enables Baker University to maintain the beauty of the trees on campus,” said Boyd, Baker’s director of natural areas and chair of the Arboretum committee. “Our entire campus community takes pride in creating a welcoming environment to our students and visitors.”
The Ivan Boyd Arboretum, established on the Baldwin City campus in 1978, has approximately 450 trees on the main campus and 109 species.
Baker’s Speech Choir at 11 a.m. will plant a tree on April 22 in honor of former student Sione Maumau, who passed away last fall. On Arbor Day April 24, the Arboretum committee will plant trees in honor of recently retired philosophy professor Tom Peard, professor of emeritus of psychology Marc Carter and Kay Bradt, who will retire at the end of the academic year as director of library services.