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Projects Updates for Tree Campus Higher Education

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  1. Committee working on updating the Tree Care Plan

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Campus Tree Advisory Committee is working on updating the Tree Care Plan, in preparation for the Tree Campus USA designation renewal this year.  There are five standards to be met in order to receive the Tree Campus USA designation: an advisory committee, a tree care plan, an Arbor Day event, a service learning project, and a dedicated tree care budget.

  2. Arbor Day Celebration

    Associated Project(s):

    Facilities and Services and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment will host an Arbor Day celebration from noon to 1 p.m. April 29, on the Quad near Noyes Laboratory. Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo will kick off the celebration by reading the Arbor Day proclamation. Attendees will be able to help plant the tree and take part in a trivia contest.

    Attached Files: 
  3. Campus Honored with Tree Campus USA Recognition

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was honored today with 2015 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.  

    tree campus USA logoTree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to acknowledge colleges and universities for successful campus forest management initiatives and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Currently, only 10% of four-year, degree-granting campuses nationally have achieved this prestigious certification.

    A Campus Tree Advisory Committee was established in 2015 to help seek this designation and act as an advisory body to Facilities & Services (F&S) whose Grounds department is responsible for the maintenance of more than 20,000 trees on campus.

  4. Service Learning Project update

    Associated Project(s): 

    In fall 2014, Diane Anderson, the Research and Education Specialist at the University’s Arboretum, worked with five students in Instructor Michael Woodley’s senior design class in the Computer Science department to develop a mobile app for the Arboretum.  The project information is stored online at


  5. Community Arbor Day Proclamation 2015

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello Campus Tree Advisory Committee,

    Tomorrow is the Arbor Day Celebration on the Main Quad at 11:30.  The signed proclamation is attached here.  Please also welcome our newest committee member, Maggie Thomas, a student volunteer. 

    We are working to spread the word about the event tomorrow, so please remind your friends and coworkers to attend.  Please join us if you are able! 



    Link to benefits from Trees:

    Thank you Email and invitation:


    Thank you for your staffs help in preparing for our first Arbor Day on campus.  Mike Brunk, in Urbana, has been very helpful with coordinating the joint proclamation with Urbana, Champaign, and UIUC.  We intend to hold a celebration on April 24 at 11:30 on the Main Quad by the Henry Administration Building.  Mike DeLorenzo will read the proclamation, our staff will share a short explanation about the benefits of trees, students from Uni High will be there supporting the event, and then our Grounds division will plant a new tree.  There will also be a trivia contest for the attendees, and we will hand out white pine saplings.   

    I know your schedules are very busy but I hope that you will be able to stop by during our celebration, and we would be happy to share information about your Arbor Day events as well.


    Al Stratman

    Executive Director, Facilities & Services

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    1501 S. Oak Street, 135C PPSB, M/C 800

    Champaign, IL 61820-6905

    (217) 333-2500

  6. Arbor Day celebration information

    Associated Project(s): 

    Arbor Day Celebration Plan

    MBJ 4/3/2015

    Arbor Day Celebration: In support of designating the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Tree Campus USA through the Arbor Day Foundation, the Chancellor is proclaiming Friday April 24, 2015 as a day of celebration.  An Arbor Day Celebration will occur on the Main Quad at 11:30, with the planting of a new tree near the Henry Administration Building.  Please join Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo to hear the proclamation, watch the tree planting process, and participate in a fun trivia game to earn a personal tree sapling.

    Location of the Event:  The tree location is circled in orange on the aerial image below.  The area for the celebration is designated in orange as #8 on the map image below, in front of the Henry Administration Building.

    Schedule of the Celebration:  There will be a hole pre-dug for the tree on Friday morning.  The hole will be fenced off to prevent the danger of falling.  Everything for placing the tree (equipment, tree, soil) will be placed near the tree location by 11:15.  A podium, sound system, and table for the trivia game will be in place and arranged by 11:15.  The official event agenda will occur from 11:30-12:30.  Take down of the event items will occur early afternoon.

    Agenda for the Celebration:  The agenda includes a welcome, proclamation, speech, tree planting, and trivia game.

    • Welcome by Carl Wegel 5-10 minutes
    • Proclamation by Mike DeLorenzo 5-10 minutes
    • Speech about trees by Brent Lewis/Ryan Welch 10 minutes
    • Placing of the tree into the hole by Grounds crew 15-30 minutes
    • trivia game facilitated by volunteers with prizes (hopefully seedlings) during the tree placement and through remainder of the hour

    Publicity for the Celebration: The event will be listed on the Earth Week calendar of events from SECS and iSEE.  F&S will send out a press release and an e-week.  Invitations will be sent to sustainability groups and appropriate academic departments.  Al Stratman will invite people to the event, during the Earth Day master plan presentation.

    Attached Files: 
  7. Notes from discussion with Mike Brunk, City of Urbana Arborist

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan Johnston spoke with Mike Brunk with the City of Urbana about the Arbor Day Celebrations held by the City of Urbana in previous years. 

    • The tree planted on the west side of Follenger Hall was for the tenth anniversary of Urbana’s Tree City designation in 1986.
    • Urbana does a proclamation that the Mayor reads, usually signed by the Mayor of Urbana and the Mayor of Champaign. Urbana facilitates it,and they could add UI.
    • They work with the park district, and build trees in the parks, invite a particular school with one or two grades.  They pre-plant the trees and have mulch piles, so the kids get to mulch the tree. Talk about the eco benefits of trees with a barrel of water and a five gallon bucket and a milk jug. 
    • It is actually bird and tree day.  Entertain the kids, proclamation from mayors, newspaper, and event for kids.  Tree planting of some sort and an acknowledgement.
  8. 2015 Campus Tree Advisory Committee charge letter

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 3:18 PM
    To: Welch, Ryan B; Johnston, Morgan B; Lewis, Brent Christopher; McSweeney, Kevin; Kling, Gary J; Lage, Stephanie M; Brunk, Mike
    Subject: Campus Tree Advisory Committee


    I am writing to formally ask for your participation in the new Campus Tree Advisory Committee for calendar year 2015.  Superintendent of Grounds Ryan Welch and I will co-chair this committee, under the purview of Facilities and Services Executive Director Al Stratman.  Our goal is to achieve the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation by the end of this calendar year.  To that end, we would like your advice for the following items, as listed in the attached charge letter.

    1. Assist with Tree Campus USA application by December 31, 2015.
    2. Recommend policies for the maintenance, removal, planting, and landscaping of trees. 
    3. Recommend a tree protection plan process for construction and trenching. 
    4. Recommend a policy for enforcement, penalties, and appeals related to tree damage.
    5. Develop a communication strategy to help make the campus community and contractors aware of policies, procedures, and goals of Tree Campus.
    6. Plan an Arbor Day observance event for Arbor Day (last Friday in April).
    7. Review annual expenditures related to tree maintenance.

    We expect to meet for one hour approximately once per month, except during the summer months.  The first meeting will be set for early February.  Please let me know if there is someone who manages your calendar for you, and I will work with them to schedule the first meeting.

    Thanks in advance for your help with this process!  I look forward to meeting with you next month.



  9. update meeting

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan Johnston and Ryan Welch met to review next steps for the Tree Campus USA designation.  The charge letter is scheduled to go to committee members at the end of this month, with a first meeting to get scheduled in February.

  10. application planned for Dec. 2014

    Associated Project(s): 

    Al Stratman, Carl Wegel, Ryan Welch, and Morgan Johnston met to discuss the requirements for applying for Tree Campus USA recognition.  Al directed Morgan and Ryan to pursue the application for this fall.  Morgan will take the lead, with Ryan handling a lot of the needed writing effort.

    There are five requirements to get recognized as a Tree Campus USA:

    1. Establish a “Campus Tree Advisory Committee”
      1. Membership must include a student, a Grounds representative, a faculty member, and a community member.
      2. We are hopeful that the Arboretum would organize this committee, chair it, staff it, and we would just need to attend and participate.
      3. The required responsibilities are unclear in the Tree Campus program, but we would not need to give them any authority over us.
    2. Campus Tree Care Plan
      1. must include
        1. Clearly stated purpose.
        2. Responsible authority/department - who enforces the Campus Tree Care Plan. – F&S
        3. Establishment of a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, terms of the representatives, and role committee plays. – see above
        4. Campus tree care policies for planting, landscaping, maintenance and removal including establishing and updating a list of recommended and prohibited species; managing for catastrophic events. – we would need to document the maintenance and removal policies
        5. Protection and Preservation policies and procedures - include process for implementing tree protection plan including step-by-step process that every project must follow including construction and trenching. – in the standards
        6. Goals and Targets - develop at least one goal and target for your Campus Tree Plan. These could include (but are not limited to) tree canopy target, development of a link between the Campus Tree Plan and other green initiatives on campus or in the community; completion of a campus-wide tree inventory, etc. Include how the goal will be measured. – the goal could be to update and maintain the tree inventory, currently at about 75% for tree locations
        7. Tree damage assessment - enforcement, penalties, and appeals. – we would need to complete and document this policy
        8. Prohibited practices. – in the standards
        9. Definitions of terminology related to campus trees.
        10. Communication strategy - how the campus tree care plan will be communicated to the college community and contractors to heighten awareness about policies and procedures as well as the goals of the institution. – in collaboration with Arboretum, CRC, and possibly iSEE
      2. F&S would take the lead on developing this plan.  The advisory committee could be the primary reviewers.  Morgan can help facilitate this.
    3. Campus Tree Program with Dedicated Annual Expenditures
      1. Grounds has a dedicated budget for trees.  Ryan noted that right now we are at about $200K per year including replacements, 2 tree surgeons and 2 grounds workers
      2. Ryan would need to develop a regular process for summarizing this data to record as evidence of the funding.
      3. We could expand this effort to collect financial information from other units that handle trees on campus, such as the Arboretum
    4. Arbor Day Observance
      1. The Arboretum is the natural lead for an Arbor Day Observance event each year.  They have indicated interest in helping with this program. 
      2. We would definitely be involved, but we would prefer they take the lead for developing and organizing the event.
      3. Certain items would need to be tracked: activity program, news coverage, pictures, and I recommend tracking participation rates.
    5. Service Learning Project
      1. “This should provide an opportunity to engage the student population with projects related to trees and can be part of a campus of community initiative.”
      2. We agree that a student project could be to locate the campus trees and enter basic information (size?).
      3. The project must be completed within the course of the year the application is submitted.
      4. The Arboretum could help coordinate this effort.  We could get a professor to do it in a class.  Morgan can assist with the coordination of this project.

    The application is due in December for the year completed, so we would need to complete this effort this fall in order to qualify for next year.