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JCSU Helps Urban Landscape Go Green

Members Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Tree Campus USA, Toyota, the Arbor Day Foundation, Trees Charlotte, the North Carolina Forest Service and Friends of the Urban Forest to plant 35 trees on campus.

Charlotte, N.C. (July 11, 2014) — Johnson C. Smith University expanded its commitment to sustainability today by planting 31 trees with volunteers from TreesCharlotte and JCSU. The project, funded by Toyota, was sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. to kick off its National Convention in Charlotte.

The tree planting enables the university to be considered by the Arbor Day Foundation for Tree Campus USA designation by fostering the next generation of environmental stewards.

“Trees contribute greatly to the aesthetic and economic value of our campus,” said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University. In 2011, the University worked with Bartlett Tree Experts to conduct a tree inventory and identified 915 trees with 66 different species on campus. The inventory estimated the total value of all trees on campus at nearly $5 million. It also identified willow oaks as the most precious trees on campus, with values ranging from $46,506 to $69,957.

“As an urban university, we are proud to join with our local and national partners in helping to expand Charlotte’s urban forest.” added Carter. According to the Huffington Post, JCSU is among five HBCUs that made the top list in sustainability by “taking bold steps to preserve the environment and build healthier communities.”

The campus is home to a community garden and aquaponic system that produces fresh tilapia and vegetables for resale and donation to area food banks. The University also plans to house a Center for Renewable Energy in the new Science Center slated for completion in 2015. 

For more information about JCSU’s sustainability efforts, visit

TreesCharlotte is a public/private collaborative committed to achieving 50 percent tree canopy coverage by 2015 to address the city’s tree loss from development, protect its forests and native species and create new green space. 

About Johnson C. Smith University

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 22 fields of study to more than 1,300 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visit or follow the university on social media sites Facebook , TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

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