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Editorial

UWRF works to become Tree Campus

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October 18, 2019

Tree Campus USA is a program through the Arbor Day Foundation for two and four year universities and colleges. The program aims to help establish community forests. UW-River Falls is currently not a Tree Campus USA.

Many surrounding UW-System schools are certified Tree Campuses. Some of the schools include UW-Eau Claire, UW- Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater, UW-Fox Valley, Edgewood College, Chippewa Valley Technical College and Western Technical College.

UWRF has shown commitment to being a sustainable campus. The university has gold “STARS” rating, which is the sustainability tracking, assessment and rating system. There are clubs and resources in place for students to help maintain this standard.

The Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor Mark Klapatch has been pursuing becoming a Tree Campus USA for the last year. Klapatch said that UWRF still needs to meet certain criteria. The university needs to create a tree manage- ment plan and organize a committee to oversee the tree man- agement plan, along with the Tree Campus USA certification.

“If all goes according to plan, we will be a certified Tree Campus USA by the end of 2020,” said Klapatch.

Jennifer Hundt, the grounds supervisor, is also working towards certification into becoming a Tree Campus USA. Hundt is working with GIS students to map all of the trees on campus. The university is also currently working on a management plan of all the trees that are put in and removed from campus grounds.

Becoming a Tree Campus would make sense and fit into the university’s values of being sustainable. This would further promote an atmosphere of environmentally conscious living at UWRF. We believe that the university should continue the process of becoming a Tree Campus. The management plans and oversight would be beneficial to the university and students.