Today@Sam Article

SHSU Earns Arbor Day Honor For Third Year

Feb. 28, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Dawine Bergeron


There’s an old saying that the third time’s a charm. In this case, the first, second, and third time have all been “charming” for Sam Houston State University.

For the third consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized SHSU as a Tree Campus USA for its commitment to sound urban management.

“Continuing to be a Tree Campus USA shows the SHSU community that we are actively managing our campus urban forest. Our trees are a valuable asset for SHSU and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way,” said Evan Anderson, SHSU arborist.

Anderson relies on the SHSU Landscape Services Crew to help with projects, and he partners with Facilities Services for planning.

The Tree Campus USA announcement comes as SHSU is preparing for Sam Houston Arbor Day, which will take place March 30, with activities beginning at 2 p.m. for students, faculty and staff.

In addition to planting trees on campus, individuals will be able to participate in educational activities to increase their knowledge about trees and the significance of Arbor Day.  

Individuals will also be able to participate in SHSU’s first Mulch Madness, in which participants will spread mulch around trees on campus.  There also will be games, prizes t-shirts and participants will have the opportunity to care for campus trees. 

To inquire about the activities, contact SHSU Leadership Initiatives at

Tree Campus USA is a national program founded in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor universities and their leaders for effective forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

SHSU achieved the Tree Campus USA title by meeting the program’s five core standards: creating a tree advisory committee, writing a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for the campus tree care program, observing Arbor Day, and having a student service-learning project to engage the student body. 

The first thing Anderson began doing as SHSU’S arborist three years ago, was work toward getting the university recognized as a Tree Campus USA by writing a campus tree care plan to define the policies and guidelines for establishing and maintaining a safe, healthy and attractive campus urban forest.

The plan covers new tree selection, planting trees, pruning techniques, tree removal, pest and disease management, tree protection, and storm recovery.

“We are still continuing to develop and implement the care plan. We are planting new trees on campus, making sure the current ones are healthy and informing the SHSU community of the importance of having trees on campus,” said Anderson. 

Soon after creating the plan, a tree advisory committee was put into place. The committee analyzes current topics that impact trees on campus, discusses new and existing management techniques, and serves as an open forum for learning.

The campus tree inventory was updated last November and the building and landscape services department recently implemented a software program to map and manage SHSU’s trees.

“It has already helped us locate some problem areas that we were able to work on over the winter break. The goal is to build our urban forestry program stronger every year,” Anderson said.

A new upcoming project that the building and landscaping services will start this year is the Campus Wildlife Habitat program.

The program’s primary objective for 2017 is to monitor existing campus wildlife, increase food and water resources, provide additional nesting/rearing sites and manage invasive/feral species.

“We’ve put bird boxes around campus and two owl boxes up in the trees. We’re always looking for interested students, faculty and staff to help with this project,” Anderson said.

In addition to Sam Houston Arbor Day, the campus will participate in Texas Arbor Day in November.  According to Anderson, there are no exact plans for Texas Arbor day at the moment but it will involve planting trees on campus. 

For more information about the program or to sign up, contact Anderson at 936.294.4075 or




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