In honor of the University’s commitment to “effective campus forest management,” the Arbor Day Foundation has named Sacramento State a Tree Campus USA.
Sacramento State has more than 400 tree species across 175 landscaped acres.
The University achieved the designation by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five requirements: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
Sacramento State was once home to hops fields and a peach orchard. The land was leveled in the early 1950s to make way for construction of then-Sacramento State College.
During fall 1953 and spring 1954, grounds crews planted some 3,000 saplings, creating the heart of today’s mature urban forest. More than 3,500 trees now shade the main campus, University Arboretum and Alumni Grove.
Sacramento State is just the sixth California university to be honored as a Tree Campus USA.
“One of the reasons I came to Sac State is because it’s a beautiful campus,” says Jasmine Greer, the senior biology major from Sacramento who led the initiative for the Tree Campus USA designation. “Part of this is my own sense of leaving some kind of legacy, making some kind of difference, some kind of impact on my alma mater.”
The University will be formally recognized during a ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 14, on campus. A presentation will be made by representatives of the Arbor Day Foundation and CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), in town for the Foundation’s Partners in Community Forestry National Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center.
As many as 75 conference attendees are expected to tour the campus and attend the 2:45 p.m. ceremony, which will take place near the Arbor Day tree that students planted last year in the Library Quad.
“The honor means a lot. We’re very proud of our trees,” says Robert Anchor, manager of the University’s Grounds and Landscape Services. “It puts into place a higher maintenance standard and helps us stay ahead of potential problems. Trees were always an important part of this campus, and the maintenance practices will make sure they’re here for years to come.”
Sacramento, nicknamed “City of Trees,” has been one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designees for the past 35 years. So it’s fitting that Sacramento State is among 150 universities and colleges across the country to earn the title Tree Campus USA since the program’s inception in 2008.
The University boasts more than 400 tree species. The most prevalent are coast redwoods and zelkova elms. There are more than 20 species of oak and pine scattered across 170 landscaped acres. The most diverse areas of plantings are in the University Arboretum and in the Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden, located in the University Library.
And last fall, Sacramento State generated and recycled about 150 tons of leaf mulch.
For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.
– Dixie Reid