The Clayton State University campus has been famous for its natural setting since it opened 45 years ago.
As Vice President for Business and Operations Corlis Cummings noted as the keynote speaker the University’s recent Third Annual Arbor Day Celebration, “Clayton State has a beautiful and unique campus that we are committed to preserving. We are ensuring that, for future generations, we will have trees.
“This is tangible proof of our commitment to the environment and trees.”
Part of those preservation efforts is Clayton State’s designation by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Georgia Forestry Commission as a “Tree Campus USA.”
Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and sponsored by Toyota to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Clayton State achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
“Tree Campus is a yearly award, we have to reclaim it every year through our due diligence,” said Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management Harun Biswas. “How we plant these trees will shape the landscape of this campus for years.”
“We’ve grown 100 oak seedlings over the past year, and we’re planting 60 of them today,” added Assistant Director of Landscape Management Justin Brooks.
The 2015 Arbor Day ceremony included an official tree planting on the day’s featured tree, Quercus michauxii, or the Swamp Chestnut Oak, in the woods by the Athletics Center. The day also included guided tours by Professor of Biology Dr. Jere Boudell of the University’s “Plants of the Piedmont” trail, located behind Spivey Hall, the Music Education Building and the Harry S. Downs Center, and a visit by the Clayton State mascot, Loch. Local children also had the opportunity to paint small terracotta pots. Following the ceremony, additional seedlings, both Swamp Chestnut Oak and Sawtooth Oak, were planted at various locations throughout the woods as part of the CSU Service Learning Project.