Lincoln, Neb. – The Arbor Day Foundation today recognized sixteen hospitals across the United States as the first-ever Tree Campus Healthcare facilities. The healthcare institutions earned this recognition by demonstrating a commitment to improving community wellness through tree planting, education, and community engagement.
“We applaud these facilities who are leading the way in improving the health and wellness of their communities through trees," said Dan Lambe, president, the Arbor Day Foundation. "We're grateful to our collaborators like Practice Greenhealth and our professional partner The Davey Tree Expert Company for sharing our vision of raising awareness of role of trees in the global future of health and supporting the growth of the program."
Recognized healthcare facilities demonstrated a profound understanding of the intersection of nature and human health through activities like distributing free trees to community members and using trees to create therapeutic landscapes on campus. Each facility met five program standards throughout the year: the formation of an advisory committee, development of a tree care plan, participation in a community forestry project, sponsorship of a celebration event or education campaign, and a suggested commitment to financial investment in tree projects, education events, and/or community outreach.
“Participating in the Tree Campus Healthcare program is an integral part of our strategy to invest in the health and well-being of the population we serve,” said Jon Utech, Senior Director, Office for a Healthy Environment at the Cleveland Clinic. “We want to inspire other health providers to join us, as tree planting is critical to keeping our cities cool, improving the quality of our air and water, and enhancing both the beauty and climate resilience of our neighborhoods.”
Recognized facilities include UAB Hospital (AL), Masonic Homes Kentucky (KY), UK Healthcare (KY), Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MD), Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital (MI), Atrium Health Mercy (NC), Parkland Medical Center (NH), Cleveland Clinic (OH), The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OH), Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PA), Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (PA), The Medical University of South Carolina (SC), CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler (TX), Seattle Children’s Hospital (WA), Amery Hospital and Clinic (WI), and Westfields Hospital and Clinic (WI).
Research shows that patient interaction with green space, gardens, parks, and natural areas helps the human condition. Trees specifically can improve respiratory health, lower urban temperatures, improve mental health, and provide restorative properties.
For more information, please visit www.treecampushealthcare.org. This program is made possible through financial support from professional partner The Davey Tree Expert Company and the collaboration of the Professional Grounds Management Society, Practice Greenhealth and the USDA Forest Service. Interested inpatient healthcare facilities may apply for 2020 recognition this fall.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 400 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.
The Davey Tree Expert Company, established in 1880 and headquartered in Kent, Ohio, provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada. With 11,000 employees, Davey Tree is the eighth largest employee-owned company in the U.S.