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Arbor Day Foundation honors DePaul University with 2019 Tree Campus USA recognition

tree on DePaul University campus
Shade trees on DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus are among the more than 550 trees inventoried by students in a class on urban forests as social-ecological systems. The data helped earn a Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)
CHICAGO — For the second year in a row, DePaul University was honored with a Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. DePaul 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 for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Currently there are 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“Urban trees provide many benefits that not only improve our physical health, but our mental health as well,” said Kaitlyn Pike, a graduate student in environmental science and president of the DePaul Student Tree Committee, which advocates for trees on and off campus. Known as DePaul Trees, they post on Instagram at

"Urban forestry is an emerging field of study that offers numerous opportunities for students to get involved in paid research or with hands-on job experience. DePaul Trees aims to be a resource for students interested in exploring urban forests as social-ecological systems and we look forward to connecting with students this spring,” said Pike, who submitted the Tree Campus USA application to bring more attention to the trees on campus.

Part of the application included the Lincoln Park Campus inventory data — location and species of trees — which was digitized by Rasa Whittaker, who graduated last year. The interactive map Whittaker created online at pinpoints where honeylocust, sugar maple, crabapple, hawthorn, slippery elm and other trees are planted on campus.

“As an organization, DePaul Trees is beginning to plan events and meetings for this spring and we look forward to further engaging students in regard to urban trees both on campus and throughout the greater Chicagoland area,” Pike added.

For more information visit DePaul Trees at or email​.


Media contact:
Carol Hughes