Rhodes Receives Tree Campus USA Status by Arbor Day Foundation

Rhodes College has received news it has been designated as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Rhodes is the third campus in Tennessee to receive the national designation. A certification ceremony will be held on March 6 at 12:30 p.m. (location to be announced).

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.

To achieve this status, a school must meet five standards which are having a campus tree advisory committee, a tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its program, an Arbor Day observance and service learning projects.

Members of the Rhodes committee are faculty Dr. Kimberly Kasper and Dr. Christopher Seaton; staff Brian Foshee, Tracy Adkisson, Kevin Sackett and Jesse Garner; and students Karen Hess, Catherine Miller, and Colin Rye as well as Shawn Posey, regional urban forester for West Tennessee and Eric Bridges, director of operations and capital improvements for Overton Park.

“This collaborative project, which involves a spectrum of individuals on and off campus, builds off of Rhodes’ designation as a Level IV Certified Arboretum and hopefully will raise awareness about the value of forests in maintaining a sustainable urban landscape,” says Kasper.

To improve the diversity and aesthetics of the campus collections, Rhodes’ tree committee is compiling a database of preferred trees to plant and will work with members of the campus Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab to create clear and current maps of trees on campus and to update as needed.

Rhodes also will offer outreach days associated with this national designation. The first of these will be held on April 12 at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Dr. Kimberly Kasper at kasperk@rhodes.edu or (901) 843-3238 or learn more about the Tree Campus USA program at www.arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.


Photo: Here the tree advisory committee is in front of a young scarlet oak tree planted last year in memory of Prof. Rosanna Cappellato who was instrumental in the college receiving arboretum certification.  

top row, left to right - Kevin Sackett (superintendent of grounds), Jesse Garner (assistant superintendent of grounds), Kimberly Kasper (faculty)

bottom row, left to right - Tracy Adkisson (associate director of physical plant), Catherine Miller (student), Colin Rye (student)

not pictured - Karen Hess (student), Brian Foshee (director of physical plant), Christopher Seaton (faculty), Shawn Posey (community member), Eric Bridges (community member)