Bellarmine earns eighth consecutive year as a "Tree Campus USA"

March 7, 2022

Shot of campus in fall

The Arbor Day Foundation has designated Bellarmine as a “Tree Campus USA” for the 8th consecutive year since the university first earned the distinction in 2014. 

The foundation honors Bellarmine’s promotion of healthy trees and engagement of students, faculty and staff in the spirit of conservation. 

Bellarmine has met the following five core standards of establishing the required sustainability of campus forestry: 

  • Establishment of a tree advisory committee 

  • Providing evidence of a campus tree care plan 

  • Dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program 

  • Having an Arbor Day observance 

  • Sponsoring student service-learning projects 

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is responsible for the planting and distributing of 500 million trees around the world. In 2008 the foundation formed the Tree Campus Higher Education program in order to promote campus forestry initiatives across the country. 

Bellarmine’s dedication to its trees is reflected through the architecture of the Centro building, which is built around its 100-year-old signature oak tree. Arborists took great care to monitor its well-being during construction. 

As of 2014, dedicated students counted 660 trees as part of a class tree surveying project. The most commonly occurring varieties are maple, juniper, eastern white pine and pin oaks. 

Bellarmine’s campus is also home to at least 57 additional species, some of which are native to the region like Catalpa, Southern Magnolia, Persimmon, Redbud, Sassafras and Sweet Gum.

The Bellarmine Farm also contains trees that bear edible nuts and fruits including a beautiful, mature Shagbark Hickory, several pawpaw trees and an orchard of apple and pear trees.

"Since Bellarmine is located in the broader urban landscape of Louisville, protecting and expanding our tree canopy can provide benefit beyond just adding to the beauty of our campus landscapes. Trees have the power to mitigate flood risk, filter air pollution, reduce the urban heat island effect and enhance our local biodiversity," said Kate Bulinski, associate professor of Environmental Studies.

Find out more about Bellarmine's sustainability efforts here.



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