Several weeks after gaining Bee Campus USA status, the College of Lake County was recently named a Tree Campus USA by the Lincoln, Neb.-based Arbor Day Foundation. The designation recognizes CLC's efforts to manage and expand its tree population, which includes the Grayslake Campus' 1,008 trees that comprise 139 species.
"Being named a Tree Campus USA is gratifying because it recognizes the teamwork and collaboration between faculty, staff and students," said Rory Klick, horticulture department chair. "Besides providing beauty and shade, trees have many environmental benefits, from absorbing greenhouse gases to stabilizing soils to providing bird habitat."
To obtain Tree Campus USA status, CLC has met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry, said David Husemoller, CLC sustainability manager. They include establishing a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
The college's Tree Survey and Management Plan includes goals to plant native tree species to replace, on the Grayslake and Southlake Campuses, more than 80 ash trees devastated by either heavy winds in the summer of 2011 or the emerald ash borer. CLC also involves students in an annual Arbor Day tree planting as part of Earth Week festivities, Husemoller said.
"If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time," said Lauren Weyers, program coordinator for the Arbor Day Foundation. "Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health, well-being and energy use. The College of Lake County is stepping up to do its part. As a result of your commitment to effective urban forest management, you are helping to provide a solution to these global challenges. Your entire campus community should be proud of this sustained commitment to environmental stewardship."
CLC is one of 344 U.S. colleges or universities to achieve Tree Campus USA status, according to the Arbor Day Foundation's list. The distinction follows six national and regional "green" awards or honors the college has received in the last 20 months. To learn about CLC's other green awards, visit www.clcillinois.edu/gogreen.
Photo: College of Lake County student Dan Buranosky helps plant a tree at the Grayslake Campus arboretum on April 27 to celebrate Arbor Day 2018.