UNC Asheville has been recognized as a 2019 Tree Campus USA, joining 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition. This is the second year the University has been honored for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
UNC Asheville achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
“This certification as a Tree Campus for the second year in a row shows that we truly are dedicated to maintaining a healthy urban forest at UNC Asheville,” said Melissa Acker, UNC Asheville’s grounds manager. “Several of the members of our crew are certified arborists. Our annual Greenfest celebrations and service days often center around trees. Trees play a critical role as part of our campus infrastructure. They reduce heat islands, they’re great for pollinators, and they even enhance study spaces. Our trees are just amazing.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC Asheville grounds staff has planted approximately 270 trees on campus, and the main campus now boasts approximately 70% tree canopy coverage.
UNC Asheville has also been certified as a Bee Campus USA, a designation that recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, and bats, among thousands of other species. UNC Asheville became the nation’s eighth certified Bee Campus in 2016.
UNC Asheville will celebrate its many sustainability initiatives with the semi-annual Greenfest celebration this fall, Sept. 21-25. For more information about sustainability at UNC Asheville, visit sustainability.unca.edu.