Arbor Day Foundation Honors SLU as Campus Conservation Efforts Continue This Spring
Saint Louis University’s commitment to sustainability and conservation has been recognized
with a national honor, and the SLU community continues to serve the environment at
home on the University’s Midtown campus and abroad.
The Arbor Day Foundation awarded SLU its 2017 “Tree Campus USA” award on Monday, April
9. The Tree Campus USA program is a national honors program launched in 2009 that
lauds colleges, universities and higher education leaders for promoting healthy trees,
campus forestation and for engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
In order to receive the award, SLU met five core standards for effective campus forest
management. These include having a Tree Advisory team made up of faculty, staff and
students, a campus tree care plan, service learning projects, dedicated funds for
tree care and an Arbor Day celebration including planting trees.
This year’s SLU Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 27, included planting dogwood
trees, an annual SLU tradition, near DuBourg Hall.
In 2003, SLU’s tree inventory counted about 2,000 trees on the northern portion of
campus alone, including over 30 varieties of deciduous trees and more than 10 species
SLU is one of over 300 colleges and universities to receive the award.
The award comes as part of a semester that saw SLU students, faculty and staff engaging
in numerous planet-saving activities.
In March, SLU competed in the annual nationwide RecycleMania competition, an eight-week
event that raises awareness about campus sustainability and aims to increase recycling
at participating colleges and universities. 2018 was SLU's eighth year participating
in RecycleMania, which ran from Feb. 4 to March 31.
SLU collected 331,762 lbs. of single-stream recycling this year. This total includes
recycling brought in by daily single-stream recycling collection at SLU including
paper, metal, plastic and glass as well as waste diversion from a basketball game
day competition during Billikens men’s and women’s basketball games. A number of students
volunteered on the game weekend to spread awareness to patrons of the correct ways
to recycle and other sustainable practices at Chaifetz Arena.
SLU took fourth place in the electronic recycling competition and held an E-Waste
Drive, collecting 86,267 pounds of electronics. The event judges participating universities
on a pounds per capita basis, or the weight of collected items divided by the number
of enrolled undergraduate students.
SLU paired the E-Waste Drive with a ShredMania event allowing participants to dispose
and shred any old or sensitive documents. The event gathered 25,721 pounds of paper
that was shredded and eventually recycled.
With the total weights of SLU’s single-stream recycling, E-Waste and ShredMania events
combined, the University community diverted 443,750 pounds of items from going to
Working for Clean Water Abroad
Meanwhile, Billikens going abroad for Spring Break partnered with local schools and
villages in Belize to focus on clean water. Three students, along with mentors from
Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology represented SLU’s Billikens for Clean Water (B4CW) organization on a trip to the country’s southern district.
The trip served as a fact-finding and assessment venture, where the SLU students,
staff and faculty mentors met with community leaders, tested water samples and the
region’s drinking water needs.
Future trips are planned and the club hopes to partner with St. John’s Junior College
in Belize City on projects.
To learn more about sustainability at SLU, visit the Office of Sustainability and
Coming Together for the Climate's Sake
The Billiken community's commitment to conservation and research was also on show
as leading scientists, science education advocate Bill Nye and environmentalists including
author Carl Pope, came together for April's bicentennial Saint Louis Climate Summit.
Hosted by Saint Louis University as a part of its year-long Bicentennial Celebration, the summit brought some of the most authoritative minds in climate science and related disciplines to the Midwest for three days of discussion on climate change from Sunday, April 22 to Tuesday,
Nye and Pope spoke as part of the event's keynote at Chaifetz Arena, which was attended
by over 2,000 people.
The conference highlighted key issues in climate science, celebrated notable achievements
and elucidated a path forward for one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. It was
inspired by Pope Francis’ convocation of leading climate scientists at the Vatican
in 2014, and the encyclical that emerged from that gathering, Laudato Si’.
To learn more about sustainability at SLU, visit the Office of Sustainability and Benchmarking.