CWI Receives Tree Campus Higher Education Recognition

Published: April 28, 2023

College of Western Idaho (CWI) has a lot to celebrate this spring as the campus has officially been designated as Idaho’s newest Tree Campus Higher Education recipient!

At the Earth Day celebration at Orah Brandt Park in Nampa on Tuesday, April 25, Idaho representative for the Arbor Day Foundation, Gerry Bates, presented CWI Horticulture Technology faculty member, Dan Schults, with a plaque recognizing the College. CWI students, Nampa city officials, horticulture industry members, and others congratulated each other on what is the culmination of two years of work.

“This is a tremendous honor and opportunity,” said Schults. “It signifies a step in the direction of sustainability and environmental stewardship for CWI.”

The Tree Campus Higher Education award “provides a simple framework for colleges and universities to grow their community forests, achieve national recognition, and create a campus their students and staff are proud of." As part of the award, CWI has committed to maintaining five standards set forth by the Arbor Day Foundation:

  1. Establishment of a campus tree advisory committee
  2. Evidence of a campus tree care plan
  3. Verification of the plan’s dedicated annual expenditures
  4. Observation of Arbor Day
  5. Creation of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body

“We have satisfied each of the standards required by the Arbor Day Foundation. In return, we get access to some great software for keeping an inventory of the trees on our campus. We also create stronger industry connections that lead to better education and job opportunities for our students,” Schults said.

“It’s neat to see CWI taking a proactive approach to maintaining our campus trees,” said Deanna Butcher, current CWI Horticulture student and student representative on the newly formed CWI Tree Advisory Committee. “I can’t wait to see what happens as we continue to develop this program!”.

As part of the recognition, CWI Horticulture and Nampa Parks and Recreation Department teamed up to celebrate Earth Day at the park. Over the course of the day, community volunteers, CWI students and green industry partners planted 100 trees at the park. CWI students from Landscape Design and Landscape Maintenance courses worked with the volunteers, showing them proper planting techniques. The experience was beneficial for everyone involved.

City of Nampa Forester, Adam Mancini, looks forward to continuing work with CWI.

“The City of Nampa Parks and Forestry truly values the relationship that has been built with CWI’s Horticulture Program faculty," said Mancini. "Over the years, we have been fortunate to employ interns as they navigate CWI’s Horticulture Technology program. The interns have proven their skills, professionalism, and abilities within the green industry.”

“It was a great way to celebrate our first year as a Tree Campus Higher Education school,” said Schults. “Hopefully this will lead to more trees planted and better care for those trees.”

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