Happy Arbor Day everyone! Oregon State has a long long-running tradition of tree planting, care and stewardship and this year is no exception. This week we have been celebrating Beyond Earth Day, ten days of exciting events to raise awareness of and engagement in sustainability.
For the last six years, Oregon State has been the recipient of Tree Campus USA, awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Tree Campus standards require the school to have a campus tree advisory committee, campus tree care plan, campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project. OSU has succeeded in receiving the award every year since 2010.
In addition to tree care on campus, OSU landscapers have taken many steps to reduce their operation’s impact on the environment via:
- Incorporating native and/or drought tolerant plants into landscaped areas
- Leave grass clippings on the lawns to return nutrients
- Obtain annual Oregon Dept. of Agriculture training to maintain pesticide best practices and application licenses
- Maintain the campus to different standards based on need (i.e., MU quad vs. low profile areas)
- Use of Maxi-com computerized irrigation system with weather-based watering to conserve water
- Minimal use of only slow release fertilizers to avoid fertilizer run off
- On-campus handling and chipping of woody debris and compostable material
- Application as groundcover of mulch and wood chips to reduce watering and weeding needs