A photo of the Solitary Oak tree on Northeastern's Main Campus.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

For the ninth consecutive year, Northeastern Illinois University has received a Tree Campus Higher Education recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation for promoting healthy trees and engaging the University community in conservation efforts.


In order to earn this distinction, the University had to meet the five core standards for effective campus forest management according to Tree Campus Higher Education: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for a campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.


This award was made possible through the collaborative efforts of faculty and staff members in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, the Department of Biology and Facilities Management.


Professor of Biology and Environmental Sciences Pamela Geddes shared that Northeastern is one of 21 higher education institutions in Illinois to receive the 2023 designation. Awards are presented annually based on the conservation efforts of the previous calendar year.  


"One more year of receiving our designation of Tree Campus Higher Education and we are very excited about it,” Geddes said. “Our commitment to the care of our campus trees and green spaces continues and we are proud of this accomplishment.”


According to the Arbor Day Foundation, 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. There are 411 campuses across the United States that received this recognition, and just over half of the campuses have earned recognition for nine years or more. Northeastern is one of 10 higher education institutions in Illinois that have been recognized as a Tree Campus for at least nine years.


“It has been an amazing nine years,” Geddes said. “We look forward to celebrating our 10-year anniversary of the Tree Campus Higher Education designation next year!"


Top photo: The Solitary Oak is a swamp white oak tree on Northeastern's Main Campus that is more than 200 years old.