Tree Campus USA

At the University of Colorado, students experience the challenges and opportunities of urban forestry up-close

By Sean Barry | October 4, 2012

I just returned from our first Tree Campus USA event this fall at the University of Colorado Boulder.

This was my second time attending a tree planting event on behalf of the Foundation – the first was at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers this past January.

It’s exciting to see how colleges and universities across the country are growing their community forests – and finding creative ways to improve the campus quality-of-life and student experience through tree planting and care.

At Florida Gulf Coast University, the 40 laurel oak trees were planted by students near the center of campus, adding much needed shade for students who break a sweat just getting to class in the humid air.

In Boulder, however, the planting we did was at the interface between the campus and the city, alongside a new bike path and a major highway just east of the Coors Event Center.

As senior grounds specialist Alan Nelson told us, the 35 gambel oak trees will do a lot for the edge of campus, creating a more inviting barrier. Planting in a confined space, on an incline, with speeding traffic on one side and chain-link fence separating us from construction on the other, this project was a terrific example of the realities of urban forestry.

Joining the participating students were a number of campus staff, as well as employees with the City of Boulder’s forestry and parks and recreation divisions, including City Forester Kathleen Alexander. Keith Wood, Community Forester with the Colorado Division of Forestry, also participated and made brief remarks.

We’re looking forward to the rest of our fall 2012 tree planting events – Los Angeles Valley College in Valley Glen, CA; Delaware State University in Dover, DE; LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA; and Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.

Speakers (left to right): Keith Wood, Colorado Division of Forestry; Sean Barry, Arbor Day Foundation; Dave Newport, Director, Environmental Center; Alan Nelson, Senior Grounds Specialist; (Not Pictured: Steve Thweatt, Executive Director, Facilities Management)

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  • Reply Susan Rylko October 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Good day, We just moved from Virginia Beach to Greenwood Ar and my family has sent us a Enduring oak tree also a Dogwood. I was wondering is it okay to plant them now? These tree has a very centilment meaning to us could you please give us your advise. Thank you for your time, Susan

  • Reply Sean Barry October 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Susan – our online nursery is a great resource for finding the right tree for your climate at the right time (and you can use it for information even if you do not purchase from us). Feel free to contact us at our main number if you need any further help.

  • Reply Two fall Tree Campus USA events down, three left to go | Arbor Day Foundation Blog October 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    […] this month, the Foundation was in Boulder, where students and staff at the University of Colorado experienced the challenges and […]

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