Alcoa Foundation’s gift of 500 trees will make CI a greener campus
Company employees, volunteers, staff and students will join in a tree planting day Oct. 4

Camarillo, CA - The CSU Channel Islands (CI) campus will soon be a lot greener, thanks to the gift of 500 trees from Alcoa Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Alcoa, a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing As part of its Global ReLeaf pledge, partnering with the nonprofit organization American Forests, Alcoa Foundation awarded CI $25,000 to purchase the trees and more than 80 volunteers will help plant them on campus Saturday, Oct. 4.

From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., employees from Alcoa Fastening Systems, a business unit of Alcoa located in Newbury Park, along with their families, CI staff, students and friends, will gather to plant the trees throughout campus. As a special thank you, the University will honor the Alcoa team by dedicating a large tree with a plaque bearing the company’s name.

“This is a gift that will significantly help us achieve our goals of making the CI campus more beautiful, sustainable and hospitable,” said Raudel Banuelos, CI’s Director of Facilities Support, who applied for the Global ReLeaf grant. “In addition to increasing the tree canopy by more than seven percent, these trees will encourage wildlife habitats and further enhance our campus as a destination for environmental education and recreation. Alcoa’s desire to engage their employees as volunteers and to better the community makes this a valuable partnership for the University.”

CI is one of 23 sites selected worldwide to receive grants through the 2014 Alcoa Foundation and American Forests Global ReLeaf Partnership for Trees.

“I am very pleased that Alcoa Fastening Systems’ Newbury Park location employees and their families will volunteer their time to work with CI staff and students to plant 500 trees on the campus,” said Ali Motamedi, plant manager at the Alcoa Fastening Systems Newbury Park location. “This opportunity, made possible by Alcoa Foundation, not only has an immediate environmental impact in the community, but also the goal of educating those involved to have a far greater and lasting effect in protecting and restoring the environment in Ventura County.”

The Oct. 4 planting day will install 500 trees, mostly native varieties such as jacarandas, sycamores, toyons, manzanitas, elderberries, and California bays, over nearly 22 acres of the CI campus. Most will be planted along the entrance road, University Drive, and in the lawn area of the John Spoor Broome Library.

American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation group, promotes the protection and expansion of forests worldwide. Since 1990, the group has planted more than 45 million trees through its Global ReLeaf campaign, collaborating with communities, organizations and corporations. Its goal is to plant 100 million trees by 2020.

“CSU Channel Islands and Alcoa Foundation have taken great strides in showcasing their commitment to a greener world, both from ecological and educational perspectives,” said Megan Higgs, manager of forest reforestation at American Forests. “Healthy urban forests are a critical component of a healthy planet. Fostering the next generation of environmental stewards through events such as these is vital to ensuring that our world continues to flourish in the future, and American Forests recognizes those who take part in promoting the benefits that forested areas provide.”

CI has garnered recent national attention for its environmental commitment. The University was named a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation, a “Cool School” by Sierra magazine, and a “Green College” by the Princeton Review. It earned a “silver”rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) STARS program.

The CI campus is home to 1,200 acres, including the sprawling green spaces of its main campus, scenic foothills and hiking trails, and hundreds of species of native plants making it a living laboratory for students and community. Sustainability is heavily integrated into CI’s curriculum, with more than 65 percent of students taking sustainability related courses. Students, faculty and staff act as partners to address issues such as campus water and soil quality and wildlife diversity. CI faculty and students conduct on-campus surveys and restoration projects ranging from studies of bird and butterfly populations to documenting wildfire recovery and restoring watersheds. Students have led and funded efforts to create campus hydration (filtered water bottle refilling) stations, a composting center, and the annual Earth Extravaganza (Earth Day and Arbor Day) event.

The University also encourages community backing for the tree-planting effort through its Leave Your Mark campaign, in which supporters can adopt a tree on campus with their donation. Learn more at

For more information on CI’s Oct. 4 tree planting, contact Director of Facilities Services Raudel Banuelos at 805-437-8464 or Learn about CI sustainability at Visit and to learn about Alcoa and its foundation. For more information on American Forests’ Global ReLeaf initiative, visit

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 about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.