WKU wins Tree Campus USA award

Michael McKay

The Arbor Day Foundation named WKU a Tree Campus USA for the second year in a row.

 WKU earned the recognition by meeting five standards: having a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, sponsorship of student service-learning projects, an event observing Arbor Day and dedicating annual expenditures for a campus tree program.

WKU is one of seven schools in the state of Kentucky to receive the recognition.

In February, the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) gave WKU points based on how sustainable the university was.

The grounds section, which includes landscaping, was the only section to earn the full number of points.

Josh Twardowski, manager of campus services for Facilities Management, said in February that his department is always looking at ways to innovate.

“The industry always has new things to offer,” Twardowski said.

Landscape architect Helen Siewers said in a press release that WKU has planted 800 trees over the last four years.

Siewers said in the release that “trees add immensely to the campus environment with springtime flowers, summertime shade, fall color, winter beauty and wildlife habit all year long.”

Arbor Day in the state of Kentucky is the first Friday in April.

Sustainability Coordinator Christian Ryan-Downing said that an event celebrating Arbor Day will be later in the month.