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Planting commemorates ASU’s sustainability efforts

November 07, 2008

The Arbor Day Foundation is recognizing ASU for its best practices in campus community forestry through the Tree Campus USA program.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota held a tree-planting event on the ASU Tempe campus to officially kick off Tree Campus USA. Eight other college campuses across the U.S. are also being recognized this fall for their efforts.

To celebrate this achievement, more than 100 students, faculty, and staff at ASU's Tempe Campus participated in a tree planting celebration hosted by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota.

Tree Campus USA, a new program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

Speeches from ASU campus leaders, Arbor Day Foundation representatives, and a Toyota spokesperson began after the Tree campus USA plaque presentation. After the ceremony, more than 100 trees, provided by the Arbor Foundation and Toyota were planted.

"The 100 trees we won couldn't come at a more opportune time since the Tempe campus recently lost an astounding 400 trees this past monsoon season. These trees will not only beautify the campus, but are beneficial to the environment," said Deborah Thirkhill, ASU Arboretum/Grounds Volunteer Coordinator.

To enhance ASU's already successful campus harvest program, roughly half of the trees will produce fruits and nuts that will be used by on-campus chefs. "These trees will be a wonderful addition to the multitude of food-producing trees and plants already gracing our campus. We currently harvest four tons of dates and over twelve tons of sour oranges and other herbs, fruits, and vegetables, the bulk of which are used in campus dining hall dishes," said Deborah Thirkhill.

In addition to winning 100 trees, ASU was also awarded the title of Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation this week.