Bethany College was honored with the 2022 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its Tree Campus Higher Education program began in 2008 to encourage colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses.
According to Bethany, trees on campus and in urban spaces can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students’ mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses, and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.
“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall well-being.”
The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Bethany College achieved the distinction by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and a student service-learning project. Currently, there are 411 campuses across the United States with this recognition.
“It’s all about three of Bethany’s core values: community, sustainability, and servant leadership. Our campus is a major part of the Lindsborg community. Lindsborg has been a Tree City for 39 years. As our 100-year-old trees pass on, sustaining the appearance/esthetics on campus, maintaining the tree canopy, which results in summer AC energy savings, and wildlife habitat are some of the main goals,” says Steve Swensson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Education. “Also, there is student representation on the Bethany Tree Board, so the Bethany College community has a strong servant leadership tie-in to our Tree Campus designation.”
More information about the program is available at treecampushighered.org.