The Paw Print
Have you ever wondered about the trees? They are important for life in so many ways. First, there is an essential symbiotic relationship for gas exchange. Second, trees can provide food for animals such as fruits and nuts.
Trees can meet many of our essential needs such as shelter. Trees also provide us with psychological well-being.
Trees have also been a symbol for many spiritual traditions. In the Christian religions, the book of Genesis speaks of two trees in the Garden of Eden, the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge and thus the fall from grace. In Buddhism, the Buddha sat under a Bodhi tree where he attained his enlightenment.
Why the interest in trees? On Dec. 31, the ASU E.A.R.T.H. group and the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) will team up to submit an application to become an officially designated Tree Campus USA.
Tree Campus USA is a program partnership between Toyota and the Arbor-Day Foundation that is based off another program called Tree City USA.
Given that in Colorado, the CSFS administers the designation of a Tree Campus, we are ready to become one.The tree campus project was launched in 2008 and has spread to more than 150 campuses across the USA.
ASU’s rival school, Western State, was the first to become a participating Tree campus in Colorado. If ASU becomes a tree campus, we will be recognized for effectively managing our campus trees, fostering healthy urban forests, and our engagement in service learning projects that promote forestry efforts.
Benefits include reduced energy expenditure, reducing ASU’s carbon footprint, a relaxing and inviting outdoor recreation setting, a possible recruitment tool, advantages for grant writing, preservation and improvement of campus, and a way to prioritize budget expenses. Was it mentioned that ASU would receive national recognition to showcase our dedication to “greener” living?
“This may seem like a lot of work and hassle,” says Adam Moore of the CSFS, “but ASU is already accomplishing the last three of five standards required to maintain Tree Campus status.”
Adam has been an active participant in the E.A.R.T.H group on campus and is hoping to become more involved by helping ASU become a tree campus. “Really, just forming a committee, developing an action plan, and documenting what is already happening are the only steps besides actually submitting the application that ASU has left to do.”
With support and help from the E.A.R.T.H group and CSFS, there is no reason this project cannon be accomplished. We just need more ASU involvement to keep out campus “green.” If you’d like to know more you can visit www.arborday.org/programs/treeCampusUSA/ or attend the next E.A.R.T.H. group meeting on December 4th at noon in the student life center. Adam Moore is also happy to chat and can be reached at 719.587.0915 or by email at Adam.Moore@colostate.edu.