Arbor Day Foundation recognizes UMSL as a Tree Campus

by | Apr 22, 2019

Katy Mike Smaistrla, Tom McCoy and Claire Tyson accepted a plaque to commemorate the honor earlier this month at an annual Arbor Day Celebration luncheon.
Tree Campus USA

UMSL received recognition as a Tree Campus USA earlier this month at the annual Arbor Day celebration. From left, Sustainable Energy and Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla, groundskeeper Tom McCoy and sustainability specialist Claire Tyson accepted a plaque to commemorate the honor. (Submitted photo)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has earned recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation through its Tree Campus USA program.

The program recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their trees; develop connectivity with the community beyond the campus border to foster healthy urban forests; and strive to engage their student population by utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry efforts.

To be eligible for the designation, colleges and universities must meet five standards to promote healthy trees and student involvement.

To meet those requirements, UMSL last year:

  • Established a Tree Advisory Committee that meets regularly and provides guidance for future planning involving campus trees;
  • Enacted a Campus Tree Care Plan that, among other things, outlines policies for planting, landscaping, maintenance and removal of trees;
  • Created a Campus Tree Program with dedicated annual expenditures, including for labor, equipment and supplies for tree planting, maintenance – pruning, watering, fertilization, mulching, competition control, etc. – and removal, if needed;
  • Held an Arbor Day observance;
  • And hosted a service learning project as an opportunity to engage the student population.

To fulfill the service learning requirement, UMSL used a grant of $7,425 from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance to fund a full inventory of all campus trees. It was the first such inventory since 2007, and the results of the inventory can be seen by the campus community through Davey’s TreeKeeper urban forestry management software, a web-accessible page that shows each individual tree overlaid onto a satellite picture of campus.

Approximately 2,400 trees grow among UMSL buildings with an estimated 2,000 more on natural land areas across a campus footprint that spans almost 500 acres.

Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.