Tulsa Community College adds to the green in ‘Green Country’

Tulsa Community College’s Northeast Campus just became a little more green as 20 new trees were planted.  Those trees, about 12 to 15 feet tall and roughly 4 inches in diameter, will greet guests at the Northeast Campus gateway at Harvard and Apache.  The trees include Nutall Oak, Bald Cypress, Princeton Elm, and Willow Oak and were donated by Up With Trees.

TCC has been recognized this year for its efforts to add to Tulsa’s beauty.  TCC’s Northeast Campus was recently named a Tree Campus USA through the National Arbor Day Foundation after an extensive year-long process and commitment to the tree canopy on campus.

TCC’s Northeast Campus is one of six higher education institutions to achieve this honor.  In addition, there are 21 cities, two Air Force bases and five public utilities that have been designated as a Tree City USA community or Tree Line USA utility in Oklahoma this year.  Representatives of TCC’s Northeast Campus received special recognition for tree care at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City in March and planted a tree on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion.

“The TCC Northeast Campus is unified in the belief that growing our tree canopy will result in developing a campus asset for future generations of students and community members to enjoy, celebrate and cherish,” said TCC Director of Academic and Campus Services Mike Limas.  “Our Tree Campus membership will offer the standards by which our progress will be measured.”

To earn Tree Campus USA status from The National Arbor Day Foundation, a college campus must meet five core standards. It must establish a campus tree advisory committee, create a campus tree care plan and a tree program with dedicated annual expenditures recommended at $3 per full-time enrolled student. The campus must also sponsor an Arbor Day observance and implement a service learning project to engage the student population in activities related to trees.

In addition, TCC’s Northeast Campus sponsors the annual EcoFest conference and festival which promotes green-living and eco-friendly practices in the Tulsa community, planted 95 trees and partnered with Up With Trees to distribute 300 trees to receive Tree Campus recognition.

Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry coordinates the Tree City USA, Tree Line USA and Tree Campus USA programs in Oklahoma. It co-sponsors the annual celebration at the state Capitol with assistance from The Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to public education about the benefits of trees.

“Trees and forests are an important resource in Oklahoma’s communities that help provide valuable services and benefits year round,” said Urban Forestry Coordinator Mark Bays. “With Oklahoma’s changing environment it’s critical that we continue to do our part to care for this valued asset to our state.” 

PHOTO:  Richard Bewley of Tulsa joins Mike Limas, John Kahre and Terrell Crown of Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus in planting an Arbor Day tree on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion. Also assisting in the ceremony were State Forester George Geissler, First Gentleman Wade Christensen and Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese.