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Arbor Day Foundation honors CMU with special recognition as Tree Campus USA

Grand Junction, CO – The Arbor Day Foundation recently recognized CMU with its prestigious Tree Campus USA designation in recognition of tree stewardship. CMU is among select colleges and universities in the U.S. to receive the distinction. The honor is a reflection of the university’s commitment to encouraging students to care for the community’s tree resources.

“With hundreds of trees and shrubs throughout the main, Montrose and Western Colorado Community College campuses we have increased diversity of the campus’ urban forest,” said Doug MacDonald, RLA. As the campus’ landscape design and sustainability manager, MacDonald takes pride in the Arbor Day designation. “Green plants produce oxygen, sequester CO2, allow rainfall to infiltrate soils, support storm water management systems and provide outdoor instructional and study spaces.”

The designation was a result of several factors. University leadership often communicates the campus objective of sustaining a highly-attractive environment for students, faculty and staff. The Department of Biology faculty encouraged the Arbor Day application process and the CMU Department of Facilities is committed to sustainability. All of these factors helped CMU with receiving the Arbor Day honor. The combination of these three factors made the designation seem inevitable to CMU President Tim Foster.

“We’re pleased but not surprised by the recognition,” said Foster. “Creating healthy, livable green space for our students and community makes CMU a more desirable place to learn, live and work. We often talk about the importance of academic programming. It’s also important to acknowledge all we do to create and sustain desirable campus landscaping. The Arbor Day designation reflects the values of CMU leadership, faculty, staff and students.”

Some unique trees on campus provide a sense of pride for the university’s facilities department. The University of Wisconsin recently requested cuttings and seeds from an Arizona Cypress tree at CMU. Despite a local climate that challenges many varieties of trees, CMU has also received recognition for hosting two state champion trees.

Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president, said that with CMU “together we can foster a sense of environmental stewardship in college students across the country. Congratulations on your achievement.”

CMU is one of just seven colleges and universities in Colorado to be a Tree Campus USA.