WVU forms committee to pursue tree campus designation

Stories | WVU Today | West Virginia University

The tree is probably the most iconic symbol
of Earth Day, the holiday supporting environmental protection. A group of
West Virginia University faculty, staff and students want to turn the tree
from a symbol into an ecological representation of Mountaineer pride by forming
a committee to pursue the Tree Campus USA designation.

“The trees and all of the green spaces on the many campuses of West Virginia University
are an extraordinarily valuable asset to the university, its visitors and to the
environment,” says Keith Lawrence, assistant vice president of
Facilities Management and a member of the committee. “Like any valuable assets,
these need to be cared for, not only in the immediate short-term, but for generations
to follow.”

The Tree Campus USA designation, a program created by the national Arbor Day Foundation,
requires the formation of a tree campus committee, a tree care plan, dedicated
annual expenditures that allow for tree management, annual observance of Arbor
Day and service opportunities that give students hands-on experience with tree

WVU’s committee benefits from the knowledge and experience of Morgantown, which has
been a Tree City for more than 20 years, and goals for the committee are to preserve
the natural assets of campus, increase safety in outdoor spaces, create pleasant
outdoor experiences, and preserve the history and symbolic meaning of campus trees.

Committee members include:

Jonathan Cumming
, professor of biology,
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Greg Dahle
, associate professor of Forest Resource Management,
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Byron Smith, director of Roads and Grounds,
Facilities Management


  •James Mirage, assistant director of Roads and Grounds,
Facilities Management

  •Ed Mason, assistant director of Roads and Grounds,
Facilities Management

Traci Knabenshue
, director of sustainability,
Facilities and Services

Stephanie Toothman,
conservation specialist,
Facilities and Services

Brian Lemme
, stormwater specialist,
Environmental Health and Safety

Liza Rigucci, project engineer, Planning, Design, Construction, …

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