Penn State receives recognition from Tree Campus USA

May 09, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has been honored with 2016 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Penn State, which has more than 17,000 trees in its canopy, 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. Currently there are 296 campus across the United States with this recognition.

“The landscape and our trees, in particular, are an integral part of how the University community experiences campus,” said Phillip Melnick, director of building and grounds for the Office of Physical Plant. “Even if people do not consciously realize it, the campus landscape contributes significantly to the special feelings all Penn Staters have toward the University. This recognition emphasizes the value of the efforts of all the dedicated people who ensure the campus tree canopy is maintained and enhanced. It is an honor to be recognized as a national leader by Tree Campus USA.”

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46.7 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 16, 2017