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UI Named Tree Campus USA for 2016

The University of Iowa Tree Crew was recently honored with the 2016 Tree Campus USA Award at the 27th Annual Community Forestry Awards Luncheon in Des Moines. The award was presented by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau April 6 at the Forte Banquet & Conference Center. The University of Iowa is one of only five Tree Campus USA award winners in Iowa. This is the eighth year in a row that the UI Tree Crew has received this honor.

At the same awards banquet, Mike Rhinehart was honored as Outstanding Professional by the Iowa Urban Tree Council. Mike is a certified arborist and has worked in Facilities Management since 1999. He and the other campus arborists are responsible for the installation, maintenance and removal of trees. Rhinehart has performed quality work implementing the latest tree care guidelines and promoting safety measures and training.

In 2009, Mike and the Tree Crew fulfilled the tenets for the Tree Campus USA recognition which made the University of Iowa the first college in the state to attain this distinction. Mike has also taken the lead with the university’s online tree inventory system

"Mike Rhinehart is an outstanding example of an Iowa forestry professional," said State Forester Paul Tauke. "His dedication will benefit the University of Iowa campus and enhance forest resources for future generations." 

The Facilities Management Tree Crew includes the following: Shawn Fitzpatrick, Supervisor, Landscape Services, and International Society of Arboriculture(ISA) certified arborist; Mike Rhinehart, Supervisor, Landscape Services, ISA certified arborist, and 2016 Outstanding Professional, Iowa Urban Tree Council; Andy Dahl, UI arborist and ISA certified arborist/municipal specialist; Alan Allgood, UI tree trimmer and ISA certified arborist; and Kent George, UI Tree Trimmer. This team maintains more than 7,700 trees on the main campus and the UI Research Park, and typically plants more than 300 trees each year.

“The Tree Campus USA award is a symbol for universities and colleges who continually strive to educate and engage their students and surrounding community about the benefits of trees and exhibit excellence in their tree management,” says State Forester Paul Tauke. “The University of Iowa has provided an outstanding example for other Iowa colleges and universities, by enhancing our forest resources and demonstrating the great value of trees in providing multiple benefits for future generations.

 To receive the award, a campus must, at a minimum, have a campus Tree Advisory Committee, a tree care plan, a tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, an annual Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project to engage the student body.

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