This spring, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized California State University, Northridge as an official Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is the university’s fourth consecutive year winning the title.
CSUN is one of 344 campuses across the United States to hold the Tree Campus USA title. Since 2008, the Arbor Day Foundation has been honoring colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. It has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees.
CSUN continues to step up and do its part, excelling at the five core standards for campus urban forest management: hosting a tree advisory committee, having a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, having an Arbor Day observance and engaging students in a service-learning project.
“What makes CSUN’s urban forest management stand out is that not a lot of CSUs have the designation of Tree Campus USA — we’re one of the few,” said Austin Eriksson, director of energy and sustainability. “We have one of the best-looking campuses in the CSU, and a lot of it has to do with the outdoor environment. We really do value the aesthetic of our campus and keeping it well maintained.
“It’s a big honor to keep receiving this [title], to keep our campus recognized for our efforts, both in Sustainability and Physical Plant Management,” he said. “It’s a reminder that we’re doing the right thing.”
Eriksson noted that some new initiatives were introduced in the past year, contributing to the fourth consecutive Tree Campus USA award.
“This year, we were able to reduce our water consumption coming out of that drought,” he said.
“The plan is to continue to plant more trees to create shade and reduce the heat island effect during the hotter summer months in Northridge,” continued Eriksson. “That’s the big goal moving forward.”
For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation and Tree Campus USA, please visit https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/