Lehigh has been recognized for its work in preserving the trees and green space on campus by the Arbor Day Foundation, which named Lehigh as a 2021 Tree Campus Higher Education institution.
The Tree Campus Higher Education program, established in 2008, honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals.
Lehigh has achieved the distinction by meeting 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 student service-learning project. Currently, 393 campuses across the United States have the recognition.
“Throughout its history, Lehigh leadership has both created and preserved the campus trees, green spaces and the surrounding forests on campus,” said Lehigh Sustainability Director Audrey McSain. “We are honored to receive this prestigious distinction, as it highlights the university’s ongoing stewardship of this living legacy.”
Lehigh will ensure proper species selection, promote tree health and ensure trees are replaced when removal becomes necessary as outlined in the Tree Care Plan and guided by the Campus Tree Advisory Committee. Students have participated in experiential learning through the creation of a tree inventory and have prepared Arbor Day observances for late April.
Earning the Tree Campus Higher Education recognition is part of a broader vision, with direct ties to Lehigh’s Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030. The goal is to "form a committee and apply for Tree Campus USA designation by 2022. Complete a baseline campus tree inventory by 2022 and repeat the inventory every five years."
Learn more about Lehigh’s involvement in Tree Campus USA here.