USC Upstate News

Arbor Day Foundation Names USC Upstate Tree Campus USA

03- 12- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - The Arbor Day Foundation has designated the University of South Carolina Upstate as a Tree Campus USA university for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. USC Upstate is the second university in South Carolina to be named a Tree Campus USA university and one of 29 campuses in the nation to receive such an honor since the start of the program in 2008.

Tree Campus

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program recognizes the best practices in campus community forestry throughout America. The aim of the program is to honor college campuses and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. The program is supported by a grant from Toyota.

“Our entire university is tremendously proud of this achievement,” says Chancellor John C. Stockwell, “and we are proud to fly the Tree Campus USA flag at the front of campus announcing with clarity our dedication to the ideals of the Arbor Day Foundation and to sustainable green campus development.”

USC Upstate was required to meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are the establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body. USC Upstate’s Landscape Services department was also required to submit a detailed inventory of trees, which included 131 species of trees in 59 genera.

Biology Professor Jack Turner is a member of the campus tree advisory committee. He says, “Trees are a vital component of the infrastructure of campus landscaping, providing environmental and economical benefits. Trees in urban areas, and especially on campuses, reduce the heat island effect caused by pavement and buildings. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particles. Properly placed trees create a welcoming environment that makes students, administration, alumni and community members want to be part of the campus.” 

“From our alumni who donate trees, to supporters of the Susan Jacobs Arboretum, to the area garden clubs who donate plant materials, to our loyal fan base who attend our annual Arbor Day Celebrations, to the extreme generosity of the Noble Tree Foundation and of Bill and Linda Cobb, and to Bruce Suddeth and our knowledgeable Landscape Services crew who choose, plant and nurture the trees all across campus -- this Tree Campus USA honor reflects on all of them, and their dedication to the campus environment,” says Stockwell.

For more information about the Campus Tree USA award, please contact Bruce Suddeth, director of Landscape Services, at or (864) 503-5500.