NEMCC earns Tree Campus status from Mississippi Forestry Commission

February 11, 2021


Northeast Mississippi Community College has once again earned statewide recognition for going above and beyond the standard of providing an exceptional learning environment for its students.

Due to the efforts of its Facilities and Operations staff, Northeast earned Tree Campus Higher Education status for 2020, an Arbor Day Foundation program, from the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC).

Northeast is one of only four colleges and universities in Mississippi and the only community college to obtain Tree Campus Higher Education status for 2020.

Northeast president Dr. Ricky G. Ford acknowledged the importance of a campus that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but environmentally responsible.

“It’s important that the college takes the lead in taking care of our environment ” Ford said, “plus we believe coming to class or work everyday on a campus that is well kept can only enhance our ability to be productive in our activities during the day.” 

“We have always placed a high priority on the maintenance of our buildings and grounds,” Ford said, “and we are pleased to receive this recognition and proud of the folks on our facilities and maintenance crews that made it happen.”

According to the MFC, the college’s commitment to the program demonstrates an investment in the management of its campus trees and tree canopy, which can have many benefits to the students, faculty, staff and community including reduced temperatures and energy costs, as well as reduced pollution of both air and water.  Green spaces on campus also improve aesthetics, enhance mental health and encourage physical activity.

Misty T. Booth, Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator for the MFC stopped by the Booneville campus to present Ford with the college’s Year 1 materials.

“We were excited to hear that Northeast was interested in managing the trees on campus proactively,” Booth said, “because that’s where it all begins.  Having healthy, well-managed trees definitely contributes to the quality of campus life for students, faculty, staff and guests as well.”

Core standards for the program are the establishment of a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, present evidence of a Campus Tree Care Plan, verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the Campus Tree Plan, involvement in an Arbor Day Observance and institution of a Service Learning Project aimed at engaging the student body.

Assistant director of Facilities Operations Brandon Elliott praised the campus community for its cooperation in achieving Tree Campus Higher Education Status for 2020.

“I’m very proud for our Facilities Ops staff,” Elliott said.  “They’re awesome. They do so much, a lot of which is behind the scenes. This recognition is a direct result of their hard work.”

Applications must be submitted annually to maintain Tree Campus Higher Education status.



Northeast Mississippi Community College has received a unique honor for the ongoing efforts by the college’s facilities and operations staff. Mississippi’s Forestry Commission named Northeast as one of four colleges and universities in the state as a “Tree Campus” in the Higher Education division and the Booneville-based college is the only community college in the state to receive the award. Mississippi Forestry Commission’s “Tree Campus” award is an Arbor Day Foundation program. At the award presentation were (l-r) Northeast director of facilities and operations Mark Hatfield, Northeast natural science instructor Mark Hurley, Northeast president Dr. Ricky G. Ford, Mississippi Forestry Commission Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator Misty T. Booth and Northeast assistant director of facilities and operations Brandon Elliott. 

Source: TigerWire

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Written by Michael H Miller

Michael H Miller is the Public Information Specialist at Northeast Mississippi Community College.