For the fifth year in a row, The Catholic University of America campus has been honored by the Arbor Day Foundation with its Tree Campus USA recognition.
The recognition acknowledges colleges and universities around the country that are dedicated to caring for their trees and green spaces. At Catholic University, Christopher Vetick, assistant director of grounds and fleet, leads the care of those spaces.
“Chris and his team are incredibly talented, hardworking, and dedicated to this campus and community,” says Margaret Carney, assistant vice president for facilities planning and management. “We are so fortunate to have them here, caring for one of the most valuable assets at Catholic, open space ... and shaping it into a masterpiece.”
To earn the recognition, a school has to meet the five core standards for effective campus forest management: a tree advisory committee, a tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and a student service-learning project.
Vetick holds a certification as an arborist from the International Society of Arboriculture. Catholic University’s campus has more than 1,600 trees representing 200 different species.
Vetick, who’s been managing the grounds since 2000, says, “I have a vested interest in what I do and to me the importance of trees on a campus are that they are the primary landscaping element on any campus. I think it’s the right thing to do and I think everyone shares the same sentiment.”
Vetick notes that the University is blessed with ample, open green space, which enables trees to thrive.
What’s the best spot on campus for trees? Vetick says, “The O’Boyle-Marist upper north lawn would be ultimate for trees on campus.”