Tree Campus USA
Part of the Arbor Day Foundation, the Tree Campus USA program recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees; develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests; and strive to engage their student population through service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.
Florida International University became a Tree Campus in 2010 and continues to earn the designation annually. FIU was the first university in Florida to earn the coveted designation. As such, students experience the benefits of being part of a campus with a commitment to trees.
Green spaces reduce the amount of energy a campus needs to generate, reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and gives students and faculty a relaxing space to study or take a break outside. The initiative was spearheaded by Biscayne Bay Campus faculty, administrators, and students and advances the mission of the university’s Sustainability Committee.
On both campuses students may notice informational plaques hanging from various trees. In 2009, Drs. Scott Zona and Brad Bennet released an FIU Campus Tree Guide which showcases many of FIU’s tree species and provides a great learning tool for students. Students also have access to the FIU Campus Palm Guide and FIU MMC Tree Map to better acquaint themselves with the many types of trees on campus.
In 2014, in the spirit of Tree Campus USA, SEAS partnered with the FIU Office of Sustainability, Zoo Miami and others to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day with a restoration project. Over 700 native plants and shrubs were planted, helping to restore a portion of critically endangered pine rockland habitat adjacent to Zoo Miami.