Belmont Prioritizes Sustainability, Honored with 2019 Tree Campus USA Recognition

In recognizing Earth Day 2020, Belmont University announces it was once again honored with the 2019 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its efforts and commitment to effective urban forest management.

Tree Campus USA is a national Arbor Day Foundation program dedicated to honoring colleges and universities, as well as their leaders, for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. In order to achieve this title, Belmont met the program’s five standards including maintenance of a tree advisory committee, implementation of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for campus tree programming, an Arbor Day observance and student engagement in a related service-learning project.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said Belmont is committed to its campus-wide sustainability efforts and a number of green initiatives that contribute to campus conservation, including LEED certified buildings, educational and sustainable green roofs, geothermal heating and cooling systems and its Tennessee arboretum designation. “We are incredibly proud to receive the honorable recognition of Tree Campus USA ® for the sixth consecutive year,” he said. “We also continue to celebrate our campus-wide Conservation Covenant, which recognizes our existing sustainability efforts and challenges our campus to take the covenant even further accepting our responsibility to care for God’s creation.”

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $51 million in campus forest management last year. This work directly supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative — an unprecedented effort to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire 5 million tree planters by 2022. Last year, Tree Campus USA schools have collectively planted 34,515 trees and engaged 33,432 tree planters — helping us work toward these critical goals. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA ® program is celebrating its 12th anniversary this year.

“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Because of Belmont University’s participation air will be purer, water cleaner and students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belmont students, faculty and staff were not able to celebrate Sustainability Week on campus this year with the planned creek cleanup, arboretum tour and tree planting. However, Belmont University continues to push forward in sustainability initiatives through a partnership with Metro Transit Authority (MTA), tracking electricity uses in all dorms with meter installation, the Graduation Pledge Alliance (GPA) and a multi-pronged approach for recycling, among others. Learn more on Belmont’s Sustainability website.