TROY - For the first time, all four of Troy University's Alabama campuses have received the prestigious Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation.
The campuses, located in Troy, Dothan, Montgomery and Phenix City, had to meet five requirements to receive the designation.
"[The program] gives the University recognition for initiatives such as planting trees and trying to do things that beautify and are sustainable in our region of the country," said University-wide Physical Plant Director Mark Salmon. "It really is a reflection of the University's care and attention to making sure we have a nice tree population."
In order to receive the Tree Campus USA designation, a campus must establish:
"It states that we are caretakers of trees, trying to preserve them, not come here and just cut down and remove trees," said Josh Slaven, grounds manager at the Troy Campus. "If we do have to remove them, we try to replace them as well. Species diversity is something we've also tried to promote, along with healthy, safe trees."
Slaven said a focused group effort at all four campuses led to the designation.
It was the vision of Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. and his wife, Janice, that paved the way for that effort, according to Salmon.
"They set the tone for what all of us enjoy at this campus," Salmon said. "They clearly had a vision when they got here in 1989 of what this university could one day become."
The Tree Campus USA program helps colleges and universities around the country establish and sustain healthy community forests.
The Troy Campus received the designation in 2014, and all four Alabama campuses were approved this February.