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The Journey to be a Tree Campus USA
LAVC's journey to becoming a Tree Campus USA began in June 2010 with the creation of an urban forest master plan for the college. Following the completion of the LAVC Urban Forest Master Plan, the college realized that its unique and diverse urban forest was worthy of national recognition.
In 2011, LAVC (with the help of the college’s Sustainability Group and President Sue Carleo) applied to the Arbor Day Foundation to be a Tree Campus USA®. The Tree Campus USA Program, which is presented by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with Toyota Motors North America, Inc, is a national program that honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. To obtain this distinction, LAVC met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, which includes:
In March 2012, the Arbor Day Foundation announced that it had named Los Angeles Valley College a 2011 Tree Campus USA® in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management. LAVC is the first community college in California and first college campus in the city of Los Angeles to be selected for the honor.
In April 2013, Valley College was named a 2012 Tree Campus USA® for the second year in a row by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota. It is still the only community college in California, and only institution of higher learning in the city of Los Angeles to be awarded this unique distinction.
On October 15, 2012, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota of North America held a tree planting event with college representatives, students, and the community to celebrate LAVC's destinction as a Tree Campus USA® campus. As the first college in Los Angeles to be awarded this distinction (and the only California community college campus), it was awarded 30 trees to plant on the campus. The event, which included participants of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference in Los Angeles, planted new trees on the east side of the Theater and Music buildings, as well as along the campus border along Burbank Avenue.