Arbor Day Foundation Names Urbana University 2012 Tree Campus USA

Lincoln, Neb. (January 31, 2013) – Urbana University is a Tree Campus USA for the first time, the Arbor Day Foundation announced today.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Toyota helped launch the program and continues its generous financial support this year.

Urbana University achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for all of us.”

“Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a tremendous impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become the conservation leaders of the future”, said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

Dr. Tingting Cai, assistant professor responded to the news with these words of thanks, “As sustainability coordinator at Urbana University, I am very pleased that our University has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation with membership in Tree Campus USA. This is the result of the team effort by our Tree Campus committee, whose members include Christina Brunn-Horrigan, John Deere, Dr. Cheryl Fenno, and UU students, Melissa Bell and Dandan Chen as well as Mr. Al Evans and Mr. Elmo Layman from the City of Urbana. The students from the spring and fall botany classes of 2012 also made an indispensable contribution to our achievement of this recognition.”

As a former forester, Dr. Stephen Jones, president at Urbana University, initiated this endeavor as part of a focus on sustainability soon after arriving on campus in the summer of 2008. He states, “Urbana University is committed to incorporating ecological literacy into our liberal arts education core, so that all graduates leave UU appreciating and understanding their relationship to nature and natural resources. We view the Tree Campus USA designation as another validation of our broad sustainability efforts.”

The City of Urbana and Urbana University will host the Central Ohio ODNR Region 1 Tree City/Campus USA Awards Program on April 18, 2013. Both the City and University will receive their awards at this ceremony along with other communities and campuses in the region.

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org, or by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter or our blog.

About Toyota Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $600 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit toyota.com/philanthropy.

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