HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 8, 2017 – High Point University earned the 2016 Tree Campus USA recognition for the eighth consecutive year. HPU is one of 12 colleges and universities in the state to receive the honor and one of only four to have achieved it for eight or more years.
Led by First Lady Mariana Qubein, the HPU Arboretum and Botanical Gardens recently reached the milestone of having more than 600 different taxa, or varieties, of trees on campus.
One initiative to spur the growth of HPU’s collection is an endowed magnolia collection with nearly 100 different varieties. This project is in collaboration with the Steel Magnolias, a group of women who graduated from HPU primarily between 1955 and 1965. HPU also boasts significant collections of redbuds (Cercis sp., about 50 taxa), dogwoods (Cornus sp., more than 60 taxa) and flowering cherries (Prunus sp., more than 35 taxa).
“I am very proud of and grateful for our team for all the hard work they have done to accomplish this recognition,” says First Lady Mariana Qubein. “As a team, we are thankful to be in an environment that promotes growth and sustainability to our campus. The administration has supported us through the entire process.”
“Achieving Tree Campus USA for the eighth straight year is a testament to our dedication to creating a beautiful and diverse tree canopy on the campus of High Point University,” says Jon Roethling, curator of the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. “We are already on pace for yet another stellar year of improvements and additions to the campus landscape.”
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. The award is achieved by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: establishing a tree advisory committee, evidence of a tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.
The Tree Campus USA award will be presented during HPU’s annual Arbor Day Celebration at 4 p.m. on April 20 in the Cottrell Amphitheater.