Southwestern University  was honored with 2021 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Its Tree Campus Higher Education program began in 2008 to encourage colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses.

Trees on campus and in urban spaces can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students’ mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses, and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.

“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.”

The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Southwestern achieved the distinction by meeting Tree Campus Higher Education’s five standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning project. Currently, there are 393 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“Since its founding, Southwestern University has taken great pride in its beautiful campus and commitment to historic preservation,” said SU’s Sustainability Coordinator Veronica Johnson. “The Tree Campus Higher Education recognition is just one of several accolades that prove Southwestern University is dedicated to establishing and promoting a sustainable campus community. Southwestern’s fifth annual Tree Campus Higher Education recognition celebrates the hard work of the grounds team and the student ecological initiatives.”

More information about the program is available at