Camarillo, Calif., April 8, 2013 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) has been named a “Tree Campus USA” for the first time by the Arbor Day Foundation. The award honors CI for its commitment to forest management and conservation and makes it one of approximately 150 institutions nationwide and the first in the 23-campus CSU system to earn the designation.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. CI achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.

“We are so honored to receive recognition from the Tree Campus USA program,” said Dave Chakraborty, Associate Vice President for Operations, Planning & Construction. “This is an accomplishment that represents just how far our young campus has come. Our Urban Forest Management Plan places sustainability as a top priority. This is vital to our campus' ongoing success, as it provides an ideal environment for research, education, and recreation among the CI community.”

CI’s 1,200-acre campus has been carefully planned to preserve natural open space and native vegetation. The 135-acre main campus is home to more than 2,025 trees of 110 varieties, ranging in age from newly planted to historic. The extended campus includes a 370-acre regional park and several acres of restored creek bed. The University aims to increase its tree canopy cover on the main campus from 25 percent to more than 40 percent in the coming years. Over the past two years, more than 800 new trees have been planted as part of that effort. CI also strives to increase tree coverage on campus through its “Leave Your Mark” campaign, which invites donors to adopt a tree, paver or bench, commemorated with a personalized plaque.

“The campus forest nurtures us in many ways besides adding beauty,” said Campus Arborist John Fluharty. “Our campus forest feeds us, cleans our air by removing pollutants, creates oxygen, absorbs run off, halts soil erosion, and provides us with shade.”

The University will receive formal recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation on Monday, April 22, at 11:30 a.m., as President Richard Rush accepts an honorary plaque at CI’s El Dorado Park during Earth Extravaganza. The annual campus celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day will be held this year from April 20-24. The public is invited to attend.

Limited parking is available on campus with the purchase of a $6 daily permit; follow signs to the parking permit dispensers. Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo with bus service to and from the campus. Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at

For more information on CI’s Tree Campus USA award and its Urban Forest Management Plan, contact Dave Chakraborty, Associate Vice President for Operations, Planning & Construction, at, or Austin Eriksson, Student Assistant, at

To learn more about adopting a tree through CI’s Leave Your Mark campaign, visit

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.