The University of Redlands, a private liberal arts university in Southern California, has received the 2018 Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. The University has received the recognition each year since the national program launched in 2009 and is one of only two private universities in Southern California to earn the 2018 designation.
“It’s been an honor to be recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for the last 10 years as a Tree Campus USA,” says Tony Mueller, director of community service learning at University of Redlands. “We follow in the steps of the City of Redlands, a Tree City USA, and work with arborists to ensure the health of our trees.
“This is a community that loves trees,” Mueller says. “When we lose one, especially one of the large oaks, it’s noticeably gone. That’s why each year our facilities grounds crew and the Community Service Learning Office plants trees to provide shade for years to come.”
The University, which boasts more than 3,000 trees on its beautiful 160-acre main campus, earned the recognition by meeting the Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee, drafting a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
In his congratulatory letter, Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe wrote, “We celebrate your diligence in improving the environment and quality of life at University of Redlands. Your entire campus community should be proud of your sustained commitment to environmental stewardship.”
The history of trees on the U of R campus dates back almost as far as the university itself. In April of this year, Environmental Sciences Professor Hillary Jenkins dedicated a cross-section of an oak tree that stood watch over the University Quad from 1925 until 2014. Planted as a sapling, the tree grew and watched such milestones as the dedication of the Memorial Chapel and founding of the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. Jenkins spent four years preserving and dating the slab, which is now a permanent exhibit in the University Armacost Library.