A team of volunteers came together to help the SOU landscaping crew to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 28, by doing tree maintenance and planting a variety of trees and shrubs on campus.
Arbor Day is observed each year, as part of SOU’s certification as a Tree Campus, to help maintain the current health of the trees on campus, while planting additional trees to further develop the green spaces across campus. Trees are integral to environmental stability, including helping to combat climate change, purify the air and prevent soil erosion and water pollution. Trees also have many mental health benefits for students and cool streets and cities.
The trees and shrubs planted on Arbor Day were purchased from the local Shooting Star Nursery and Plant Oregon, and included several native varieties, including pollinator plants.
The shrubs included 10 native redtwig dogwoods, along with five autumn brilliance serviceberries. With some solid teamwork, five young giant sequoias were planted, along with several Heritage River birch and spire oak trees. The new plants are all located outside the Music Building on the SOU campus.
Another team worked on maintaining other trees on campus, with a focus on pruning several established trees and removal of any dead wood to keep the established trees healthy.
Volunteers for the event included students, faculty and staff from IT, facilities, sustainability and the vice president for finance and administration. The yearly involvement in Arbor Day celebrations helps to involve students in service learning projects, encouraging physical activity, promote sustainable practices and encourage a healthier campus environment.
Arbor Day was originally celebrated in 1872, and marked the planting of more than a million trees Nebraska. Arbor Day was proclaimed as a legal state holiday in Nebraska in 1885. By 1920, more than 45 states joined the tradition and today, Arbor Day is celebrated in all U.S. states.
The holiday is focused on hope for the future, representing the belief that the hard work now will grow to provide clean air and water, cooling shade and wildlife habitat that will overall promote healthier communities.
Special thanks went to Zack Williams and the SOU landscaping team for organizing the event. The team works hard to maintain the beauty of SOU’s campus, developing green spaces and pollinator habitats that benefit the environment and community.