Holy Cross Receives Distinction as Tree Campus USA

College is second in Massachusetts to earn recognition

October 22nd, 2013 by 

Slide 1. Image by Christian Santillo

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The College of the Holy Cross, through partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Worcester Tree Initiative, was officially certified as a “Tree Campus USA” on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at a ceremony at Fitton Baseball Field. The College joins the University of Massachusetts Lowell as the second campus in the state to earn the recognition. In Worcester, Becker College and Worcester State University are currently working to achieve the status and were also recognized at the ceremony for their efforts.

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College; Michael O’Brien, city manager; Mary Knittle, Worcester Tree Initiative Steering Committee co-chair; Andrew Varuzzo, a member of the Holy Cross class of 2015;  and Mollie Freilicher, Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation community action forester, each spoke at the event about the importance of this recognition for the City of Worcester.

“The distinction of being recognized as a Tree Campus USA belongs not only to the College of the Holy Cross, but also to our neighbors, our community, and the City of Worcester,” said Fr. Boroughs. “It is a symbol of our continued commitment and partnership in making College Hill and the City of Worcester a beautiful place to live and work.”

As part of the event, more than  30 trees were planted along College Street and Caro Street by faculty, staff, students and volunteers. In the coming weeks, up to an additional 10 trees will be planted on residential properties surrounding the College for those who requested to participate in the event. The trees will be a variety of species picked specifically to thrive in the northeast climate, as well as in their particular planting location, taking into account foot traffic, power lines and other property structures. They will be cared for by the College grounds crew, who also maintain the more than 6,000 trees that are currently part of the Holy Cross arboretum.

To achieve Tree Campus USA status, a college or university must achieve the following core standards. First, a campus advisory committee, made up of a student, a faculty member, a facilities employee, and a member of the community, must be established. Next, a tree care plan is created, followed by a campus tree program; together, this ensures that the trees will be taken care of from a grounds perspective as well as ensuring that there will be annual budgetary considerations for maintenance. Finally, the school must commit to observing Arbor Day annually and implement a service learning project within the year of Tree Campus recognition.

About Tree Campus USA

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Tree Campus USA is supported by a grant from Toyota.

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.

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Photography by Christian Santillo


For additional information, please contact Bridget Cass at 508-793-2419.

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