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Riverside City College earns honor for urban forest stewardship

Riverside City College recognized for its commitment to urban forestry with Tree Campus Higher Education award

Students study outside, in the Quad, under the shade of one of Riverside City College's many trees.

 The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Riverside City College (RCC) with a 2023 Tree Campus Higher Education award for its work preserving and maintaining an urban forest.

The award is part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s efforts to encourage colleges and universities to plant trees on their campuses. Trees help lower energy costs, improve air and water quality, and provide green spaces for students and faculty.

In addition to improving the overall academic experience of students and faculty, trees on campus can also enhance mental and cognitive health, create a more welcoming and appealing environment for learning and study, and help to reduce stress levels.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus Higher Education program honors institutions that meet specific standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, and dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program. RCC achieved this distinction by meeting five standards.

During the third annual Arbor Day ceremony on campus, the RCC Student Sustainability Collective and Sustainability Committee planted a tree in honor of the college’s mascot, Bennie the Bengal tiger. The ceremony also included the planting of a coast live oak, Panthera, between the Math and Science Building and the Quad. Panthera joins Oliver (2022) and Eliza (2023) as new additions to the campus urban forest.

This recognition is also part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees, which is vital in improving the quality of life for individuals and communities worldwide.