VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vincennes University has been announced as a recipient of a 2021 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

VU is promoting healthy trees and green spaces on the 200-plus acre Vincennes Campus in addition to engaging students, faculty and staff in the spirit of conservation while contributing to a healthier environment and a more sustainable world for all, a news release said.

“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, said. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall well-being.”

VU achieved the national distinction for its commitment to a green and sustainable campus by meeting five core standards for sustainable campus forestry, including having a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated spending on a campus tree program, Arbor Day observance and a student-service learning project.

Agriculture and Horticulture Coordinator Jennifer Nettles spearheaded efforts to establish VU as a Tree Campus Higher Education campus.

“We saw a need on our campus to plant and maintain a diverse population of trees long term,” Nettles said. “Our plan covers the planning, planting, care and maintenance of trees on campus, paying close attention to increasing a diverse canopy cover, promoting tree health, and protecting trees during campus renovations.”

The Vincennes Campus is also an open laboratory classroom for students in the Horticulture program. They learn how to identify, plant, prune and mulch trees along with their importance to our daily lives. The campus has around 55 different types of trees.

“Seeing the tree, touching the bark, and getting an up-close and personal view of the trees and shrubs help the students to see the differences and learn more about each one,” Nettles said.