The Arbor Day Foundation honored Moraine Valley Community College as a 2015 Tree Campus USA college for its commitment to effective urban forest management. There are 254 campuses across the U.S. with this recognition. This is the sixth time the college has been recognized.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

Tree Campus USA is a national program launched in 2008, when 29 colleges were inaugurated, by the Arbor Day Foundation. The program honors colleges, universities and leaders of the campus and surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management while engaging the campus students and staff in environmental stewardship.

Moraine Valley met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards include maintaining a campus tree advisory committee; having a campus tree-care plan; dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and a student-based service-learning project.

“Being recognized as a Tree Campus USA acknowledges the great work we do to keep our tree canopy healthy. Most people understand trees are necessary for cleaning our air, but also for providing food and shelter to local wildlife, maintaining soil integrity and preventing erosion, and making us happier people. Studies have shown the more a person interacts with nature the happier, healthier and more balanced they become,” said Stephenie Presseller, Moraine Valley sustainability manager. “Tree Campus USA also facilitates a five-year Tree Care Plan that the College uses to ensure we continue to have a thriving tree canopy on campus; this year the plan is due for revision and aligns with the same time cycle as our Campus Master Facilities Plan and the Climate Action Plan. Integrating these three plans puts Moraine Valley on the path to a sustainable future.”

The Arbor Foundation has helped campuses plant thousands of trees. Learn more about the Tree Campus USA program.

For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley public relations generalist, at (708) 974-5742 or