CWU News

CWU Named a 2019 Tree Campus USA

Tree Campus USA logoIn recognition of its efforts to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees, the Arbor Day Foundation has honored CWU as a 2019 Tree Campus USA.

The foundation acknowledged the university’s efforts to manage campus trees, develop community connections beyond campus to promote healthy, urban forests; and engage students in service-learning opportunities about campus- and community-forest management.

“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 Central Washington University's participation air will be purer, water cleaner and your students and faculty will be surrounded by the shade and beauty the trees provide.”

Overall, there are roughly 3,200 trees on the Ellensburg campus.

CWU received the national award for meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards. The standards include: maintaining a tree advisory committee, instituting a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for a campus tree program, hosting an Arbor Day observance, and establishing student service-learning projects.

“We have been intentional in our efforts to plant new trees, ensure the health of the established ones all across campus, and encourage campus and the surrounding community to understand how vital trees are to everyone,” said Andreas Bohman, CWU vice president of Operations. “It’s part of the Trees on the CWU Ellsnburg campusuniversity’s overall campus commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Lauren Weyers, Tree Campus USA program coordinator, added, “If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use. Central Washington University is stepping up to do its part. As a result of your commitment to effective urban forest management, you are helping to provide a solution to these global challenges.”

In 2019, the Arbor Day Foundation reports, CWU and the other 384 recognized Tree Campus USA schools nationwide collectively planted 34,515 trees. Last year alone, Central planted 27 and more are on the way.

Blair McNeillie, CWU grounds supervisor, said, “I anticipate we will have 50 more new trees in the ground by the end of 2020.”    

Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,