BLACKSBURG, Va., April 24, 2009 – Virginia Tech received the 2009 Governor's Environmental Excellence Bronze Medal in the Environmental Project (Government) category for hosting the Campus Tree Tour 2008 tree planting event in Blacksburg on Oct. 21, 2008.
The award was presented on April 1, 2009, during the 20th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium Banquet held on the campus of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. The Honorable L. Preston Bryant Jr., the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, presented a total of 23 awards. Receiving the award for Virginia Tech was Michael Coleman, associate vice president for facilities services.
The awards recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in three categories: environmental projects, environmental programs, and land conservation.
“This is a tremendous honor for not only our university, but for all of our partners that participated in the planning and execution of the successful planting of 100 beautiful trees on our Blacksburg campus,” said Denny Cochrane, sustainability program manager for Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech received this award in the Environmental Project category. There were four categories for submissions: Environmental Program, Environmental Project, Land Conservation Program, and Land Conservation Project.
The Arbor Day Foundation, along with sponsorship from Toyota, selected Virginia Tech as one of just nine colleges and universities in the nation to be selected as a “Tree Campus USA” site and to receive 100 trees to be planted on campus.
Virginia Tech held a kick-off event on Oct. 21, 2008 near the southeast corner of The Inn at Virginia Tech, Skelton Conference Center and the Holtzman Alumni Center, overlooking the pond.
Over 200 volunteers to include students, faculty, staff, alumni, Blacksburg residents, friends, and the HokieBird helped to plant the 100 trees given to Virginia Tech in various locations on campus.
Tree Campus USA recognizes the best practices in campus community forestry throughout America and honors college campuses and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.
“Trees are a critical component of the Virginia Tech campus,” said Eric Wiseman, chairman of the Virginia Tech Arboretum Committee. “We value their aesthetic and environmental contributions to the community. The Campus Tree Tour is an opportunity to celebrate trees and demonstrate our commitment to a sustainable urban forest.”