SHERIDAN — The Northern Wyoming Community College District Board of Trustees was informed at its regularly scheduled board meeting last night that Sheridan College has been designated as a Tree Campus USA site.
This is the first designation of its kind for any college campus in Wyoming.
Started in 2008, Tree Campus USA is a national program that honors colleges and universities for effective forestry management on campuses and for engaging faculty, staff and students in conservation efforts.
The college partnered with Wyoming State Forestry to conduct an extensive inventory of trees on campus, including mapping locations, determining species diversity, measuring height and diameter of every individual tree and investigating any disease or insect problems in campus trees.
To achieve the award, the college also had to have in place and will have to maintain five standards, including having a tree advisory committee, developing a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures for its campus tree program, observing Arbor Day and organizing student service-learning projects.
“We are very proud to be recognized as the first Tree Campus USA college in the state of Wyoming,” Sheridan College Grounds Department Supervisor Zack Houck said. “The campus not only benefits the environment but it instills pride in the students, faculty and the community as a whole.”
In a presentation to the board, Houck and Wyoming State Forestry Assistant District Forester Kelly Norris noted that there are more than 400 trees on campus, which add more than $1 million in value to the campus.
“I think it is a really great thing for this campus,” Houck told the board.
A public ceremony celebrating the award and Arbor Day will be held May 2 at Sheridan College. Twenty to 30 trees will be planted on the front lawn of the campus and members of the public are welcome to attend and help plant.
In other business, the board approved the first reading of a change in the early retirement plan for staff. Also, nine faculty members were approved for tenure.
The board also heard from Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Heath who noted that construction on the Thorne Rider Student Center is “on time and on budget.”