Students, faculty and staff at the University of Arkansas at Monticello planted a chinkapin oak tree at the center of campus recently in observance of Arbor Day, a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care.
The observance is one of five requirements for the campus to maintain its standing as part of Tree Campus USA. The other standards include maintaining a campus Tree Board comprised of administrators, physical plant staff, faculty and students; a campus-wide tree care plan which provides guidelines for proper tree planting, care and protection during construction activities and tree replacement; and an annual student service project, such as the planting and mulching project completed last week.
Lisa Shemwell, chief of staff, and Aliyah Kennedy, president of the Student Government Association, spoke briefly during the ceremony. The actual planting and mulching was supervised by Chris Stuhlinger, university forest manager.
After the Arbor Day ceremony, a group of students, assisted by personnel from the UAM Grounds Division and Tree Board, mulched about 120 trees in the UAM Arboretum located behind the Science Center. The shredded hardwood mulch will help keep weeds and grass from growing around the trees, prevent lawnmowers and string trimmers from damaging the trees, improve the appearance of the arboretum, and help conserve soil moisture near the tree.
UAM was designated a Tree Campus USA in 2010. “The Tree Campus USA program is an initiative to foster the development of the next generation of tree stewards,” said Jay Jones, vice chancellor for finance and administration. “The program is designed to award national recognition to college campuses and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.”
Jerry Lynn, district arborist with the Arkansas Forestry Commission, is pictured above (left) presenting a Tree Campus USA flag to SGA President Aliyah Kennedy, SGA Secretary Bryson Berry, and Chief of Staff Lisa Shemwell.