For the second year in a row, Rhodes College has been recertified as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Founded in 2008 and supported by a grant from Toyota, the Tree Campus USA Program recognizes colleges and universities that have made it a priority to plant, preserve, and protect their precious tree resources as well as engage the community in environmental stewardship.
In order to receive this designation, organizations must meet the following five standards: institute a campus tree advisory committee, a tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its program, an Arbor Day observance and service learning projects.
The tree advisory committee includes faculty members Kimberly Kasper and Christopher Seaton; Physical Plant staff Brian Foshee and Kevin Sackett; students Catherine Miller and Alex Noel; and community members Shawn Posey and Eric Bridges. “We hope that the Tree Campus USA designation can serve as a crossroads for bridging the Rhodes and Memphis communities,” says Miller.
The Midtown Urban Forestry Fellows—Catherine Miller, Taylor Sieben and Alexander Noel—supervised by Prof. Kimberly Kasper, have been working diligently to redesign the arboretum tour, which will be unveiled at Rhodes’ Earth Day Celebration on April 22. The event will include outdoor activities and local food.
“We are also working to create a comprehensive map and catalogue of all of the trees on Rhodes’ campus,” says Sieben.
“This represents another step forward in the continuing efforts to create a more diverse and aesthetically pleasing campus,” adds Noel. “We hope to raise the profile of the Rhodes College Arboretum through these efforts.”