Oahu community colleges nationally recognized as Tree Campus schools

Local News

File – Tree-planting event at Windward Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 28, 2021. (Department of Land and Natural Resources photo)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Windward Community College (WCC) and Kapiʻolani Community College (KCC) have become nationally recognized Tree Campus schools for their role in committing their institutions to effective urban forest management.

WCC was recognized as a Tree Campus school in 2019 and KCC followed by receiving recognition in 2020.

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An assistant professor and Tree Campus initiative coordinator at WCC says the recognition is thanks to work done nearly 100 years ago.

“Windward Community College is a beautiful campus and wonderful place to work in part because of the foresight and planning of people who planted our historic Banyan trees almost a hundred years ago,” said Christian Palmer, assistant professor and Tree Campus initiative coordinator at WCC.

An assistant assistant professor and Tree Campus initiative coordinator at KCC says trees at Kapiʻolani provide more than just shade.

“Trees at Kapiʻolani Community College are more than just a respite from heat. They help our communities become more resilient to natural or man-made disasters, they provide shelter for the indigenous manu-o-Kū birds, and many of them have special cultural significance as well,” said Mike Ross, assistant professor and Tree Campus initiative coordinator at KCC.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa became Hawaii’s first Tree Campus in 2008. There are over 400 U.S. campuses that have received Tree Campus recognition and three represent the state of Hawaii.

Tree Campus status is officially recognized when a campus shows that it meets the following standards:

  • Maintain a tree advisory committee.
  • Implement a campus tree-care plan.
  • Maintain dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program.
  • Host an Arbor Day observance.
  • Complete an annual student service-learning project focused on trees.

Applications to obtain Tree Campus status are due on the last day of every year. Click here to learn more.

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