During Second Annual Arbor Day Celebration
The Arbor Day Foundation’s honoring of Clayton State University as a 2013 Tree Campus USA® was formally recognized on Apr. 25 as part of the University’s Second Annual Arbor Day Celebration… a “Trees Made Real” event.
The celebration was held on the University quad in front of an enthusiastic crowd that included dozens of local school children. Amidst long-term loblolly pines and a host of newly-planted hardwood trees that will someday join the pines in marking this “Tree Campus USA,” the ceremony featured the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Joan Scales presenting the 2013 Tree Campus USA banner and plaque to Clayton State President Dr. Thomas Hynes, Vice President for Business and Operations Corlis Cummings, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management Harun Biswas and Assistant Director of Landscape Management Justin Brooks.
In her address, Scales pointed out that the Tree Campus USA designation was awarded for commitment to effective urban forest management and targets those institutions that conserve, maintain and grow trees. Scales also noted that Clayton State is one of only nine universities in the state to be named a Tree Campus USA.
“We’re recognizing universities that are trying hard to maintain their environment,” she said.
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.
“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” says John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Nebraska City, Neb.-based Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”
“You don’t have to spend more than five seconds on this campus to know that threes are who we are,” said Hynes in his remarks during the ceremony. “Trees define us. We want to make sure this campus is not just beautiful today, but beautiful forever.”
It is worth noting that a study of the Clayton State campus in early 2012, initiated as part of the Tree Campus USA program, tagged a total of 1379 trees on the then-167 acre campus.
The Arbor Day ceremony included a tree planting (the featured tree was a Chionanthus virginicus, or the Fringe Tree) in the Quad behind the James M. Baker University Center as well as the Clayton State Tree Committee giving away tree seedlings. The day also included guided tours by Clayton State students of the “Plants of the Piedmont” trail, located behind Spivey Hall, the Music Education Building and the Harry S. Downs Center. Local children, a key part of the celebration, painted small terracotta pots to take home with their seedlings. Following the ceremony, additional trees were planted at various locations throughout the campus, including Carolina Silverbell, Japanese Stewartia, Sugar Maple, and American Snowbell.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information is available at www.arborday.org