The trees are among the 100 the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota donated to be planted this fall in honor of UofL’s designation earlier this year as a Tree Campus USA school.

“We’re proud of that designation, because it underscores the strong commitment we’ve made to protect and preserve our trees for future generations,” said Joy Hart, chair of UofL’s Sustainability Council, at an event before the planting took place.

Representatives of the Arbor Day Foundation, Toyota, the Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Professional Grounds Maintenance Society joined in the tree planting. 

“You guys should be really proud of your campus here,” said Mary Widhelm, program coordinator for the Arbor Day Foundation. She commended the campus community’s collective effort on the tree management program.

UofL developed a care plan for the more than 1,100 trees on its 309-acre Belknap Campus and is spending more than $200,000 a year to carry out the plan. It also launched a service learning project for students interested in protecting and preserving campus trees.

UofL is the fifth Kentucky college to be honored with the Tree Campus USA distinction.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota created the program to honor college and universities that promote healthy urban forest management and engage the campus community in environmental stewardship. Universities must meet certain standards before they receive the designation.