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Caz College named 'Tree Campus'

The Cazenovia College campus has always been a picturesque, tree-filled landscape, but it now it's official.

The Arbor Day Foundation recently honored Cazenovia College as a 2009 Tree Campus USA college for its "dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship."

On the recommendation of the College's Council on Long Range Planning, Stefan Opalenick, superintendent of grounds, and Thad Yorks, associate professor of environmental science, prepared and submitted the required tree care plan.

"Students in our Field Botany class helped lay the groundwork last fall by mapping trees on the main parts of campus and reviewing tree care plans from other institutions," Yorks said.

In order to receive Tree Campus USA status Cazenovia College met the five required core standards of tree care and community engagement: establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.

Aimee Sosenko, of Johnson City, a sophomore in the Environmental Studies Program, was in the tree-mapping group, and serves as the student representative on the required Tree Care Committee.

"I am glad to be a part of Tree Campus USA; this experience will help me spread awareness about how important the environment is," Sosenko said. "My hope for the future is that more people get involved with this program so that we can continue on the path to a healthier planet."

Mark J. Tierno, president of Cazenovia College, was proud of the designation.

"We have been focused for a number of years on the landscape of our campus, so the recommendation to seek out this honor was a timely one," Tierno said. "I'm proud that we have been named a Tree Campus USA College, and pleased that the work involved in maintaining the designation is part of our regular routine."

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