Tree Campus USA

The University of Northern Colorado received Tree Campus USA designation for the second consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation announced today.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

UNC achieved the title again by continuing to meet the program's five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

"We're proud to maintain our designation as a Tree Campus USA, which represents the hard work of many members of the campus community for more than 100 years," said UNC President Kay Norton. "Prospective students and their families and other visitors frequently mention that our beautiful campus is an important aspect of UNC's overall desirability and the more than 3,700 trees we have play a key role in that impression."

UNC Manager of Landscaping & Grounds Pat McDonald and colleague Brent Engel canvassed the 246-acre campus on foot in summer 2012 to officially catalog by hand 3,695 trees — about 1,300 more than previously estimated from combining a 1987-88 survey with a tally of new and deceased trees since 2002. That number now stands at more than 3,700.

UNC is home to the Colorado Tree Coalition state champion trees based on their size:

  • a Kentucky coffee tree (northwest of Frasier Hall)
  • two Amur cork trees (north of Gray Hall and south of Gray Hall in the parking lot island)
  • a pecan tree (northeast of the intersection of 9th Avenue and 19th Street).

The university is developing a self-guided walking tour of the campus arboretum using the information collected by Engle and McDonald, who also leads groups of student volunteers that plant trees on campus throughout the year, including annually on Arbor Day/Earth Day.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Tree Campus USA sponsor Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at