Planting a tree. Close-up on young man planting the tree while working in the garden

The Arbor Day Foundation is recognizing 16 hospitals across the United States as the first-ever “Tree Campus Healthcare” facilities. The healthcare institutions earned this recognition by demonstrating a commitment to improving community wellness through tree planting, education, and community engagement.

“We applaud these facilities who are leading the way in improving the health and wellness of their communities through trees," says Dan Lambe, president, the Arbor Day Foundation. "We're grateful to our collaborators like Practice Greenhealth and our professional partner The Davey Tree Expert Company for sharing our vision of raising awareness of the role of trees in the global future of health and supporting the growth of the program."

Recognized healthcare facilities demonstrated a profound understanding of the intersection of nature and human health through activities like distributing free trees to community members and using trees to create therapeutic landscapes on campus. Each facility met five program standards throughout the year: the formation of an advisory committee, development of a tree care plan, participation in a community forestry project, sponsorship of a celebration event or education campaign, and a suggested commitment to financial investment in tree projects, education events, and/or community outreach.

“Participating in the Tree Campus Healthcare program is an integral part of our strategy to invest in the health and well-being of the population we serve,” says Jon Utech, senior director, Office for a Healthy Environment at Cleveland Clinic. “We want to inspire other health providers to join us, as tree planting is critical to keeping our cities cool, improving the quality of our air and water, and enhancing both the beauty and climate resilience of our neighborhoods.”

Recognized facilities include UAB Hospital in Alabama, Masonic Homes Kentucky, UK Healthcare in Kentucky, Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Maryland, Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Michigan, Atrium Health Mercy in North Carolina, Parkland Medical Center in New Hampshire, Cleveland Clinic, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Medical University of South Carolina, CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Texas, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Amery Hospital and Clinic and Westfields Hospital and Clinic, both in Wisconsin.