Annual SOU Botanical Tour to begin with Friday launch party

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/PUeioZ)

(Ashland, Ore.) — A launch party on Friday for Southern Oregon University’s Botanical Tour will introduce a fully web-based tour option that includes 107 GPS coordinates for trees located across the university’s 175-acre campus, along with a printed tour brochure.

The current version of SOU’s tree tour is the largest at any university in Oregon – and possibly in the U.S.

“This is a unique area,” said Mike Oxendine, SOU’s landscape services supervisor and resident arborist. “We can grow a wide variety of trees in southern Oregon, and we have benefitted greatly from our predecessors who planted many types of trees for us to enjoy.”

There are more than 300 tree varieties at SOU and many are still being identified. SOU’s Siskiyou Arboretum in Roca Canyon – just south of the Science Building – contains more than 70 different species of trees that are native to the region and were donated to SOU by Plant Oregon in 2016.

Friday’s Botanical Tour will begin at 10 a.m. in front of the Plunkett Center, at Siskiyou Boulevard and Mountain Avenue, following a brief presentation highlighting the tour’s goals. The online tour can be found at landscape.sou.edu/sou-botanical-tour.

SOU’s Botanical Tour was launched in 2015 by Environmental Science Program student Daniel Collay, with collaboration from the Landscape Department and faculty and staff across campus. The purposes were to educate southern Oregon residents about SOU’s sustainability programs and biodiversity, inspire people on- and off-campus to expand sustainability efforts and foster engagement with groups throughout the community.

For the tour, SOU’s campus is divided into north, south east and west quadrants and selected trees are numbered from one (a black oak on the north campus) to 107 (a Douglas fir on the south campus).

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About Southern Oregon University
As a public liberal arts university, SOU focuses on student learning, accessibility and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU’s daylong Arbor Day 2017 celebration

NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/SW2CyB)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Landscape Services Department will continue its commitment to sustainability by hosting its annual Arbor Day event on Friday, April 14, featuring a new, guided botanical tour.

The virtual guided tour will include more than 100 different and unique trees – each with a physical identification plaque and a QR code for additional information. The day’s events will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until after 4 p.m.

Keynote speakers will address various Arbor Day topics, a ceremony will be held to acknowledge SOU’s designation as a Tree Campus USA, the first 200 volunteers will be offered free lunch at the Hawk, and more than 6,000 plants will be planted by volunteers.

Community members are welcome to attend the family-friendly event and get their hands dirty with SOU’s landscape team, volunteer staff, faculty and students.

An Arbor Day Disc Golf Tournament will conclude the day’s festivities at 4 p.m.

Major sponsors of SOU’s Arbor Day Event include Plant Oregon and SOU dining.

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/802513893234129/. Those with questions may contact Landscape Services supervisor Mike Oxendine at oxendinem@sou.edu

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU receives third Tree Campus USA designation

NEWS RELEASE (online at https://goo.gl/cMAoAq)

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has received recognition for the third straight year as a “Tree Campus USA.” The Arbor Day Foundation honors select U.S. colleges and universities with the Tree Campus designation, based upon management of their urban forests and efforts to engage students and staff in conservation.

SOU first received the designation for its efforts in 2014, and the 2016 honors were announced last week. The university has ramped up its Arbor Day activities as part of its ongoing campaign to become and remain a designated Tree Campus – 24,000 plants and 173 large trees have been planted on campus by volunteers during the past three annual celebrations, and a five-acre arboretum has been created.

“We have had a combined Arbor Day outreach of over 2,000 volunteers who have participated in everything from tree planting, pollinator garden creation and planting, botanical tours, pruning demonstrations and world-renowned educator presentations,” said Mike Oxendine, SOU’s landscaping, equipment and motor pool superintendent.

All trees planted at SOU’s Arbor Day celebrations have been donated by Plant Oregon, a Talent nursery that specializes in native plants, shrubs and trees. SOU offers free t-shirts to its Arbor Day volunteers, and those interested in participating can find more information on the SOU Landscape facebook page. This year’s Arbor day is on Friday, April 14.

The Arbor Day Foundation created its Tree Campus USA program in 2008. For 2016, 296 campuses nationwide received the recognition – including four universities and one community college in Oregon.

To qualify for the honor, colleges or universities must meet five standards: maintain a tree advisory committee, employee a campus tree-care plan, dedicate funding each year to the campus tree program, observe Arbor Day and engage students through a service-learning project.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $46.7 million in campus forest management efforts during 2016.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.