Students plant dogwood trees to celebrate Arbor Day
Office of Sustainability interns Lauren Barber and Ryan Agnew planted seven dogwood trees in the space between the Humber-White House and the Harrison House in recognition of Arbor Day on April 11.
Taking place between Georgia’s Arbor Day, the third Friday in February, and the National Arbor Day, April 27, GC’s celebration has been a joint effort between the Office of Sustainability and the grounds department.
Lauren Barber, a junior and environmental science major, had planted a tree the year before and enjoyed her experience, so she jumped at the opportunity to do it again.
Although Barber finds participating in the plantings fun and rewarding, she said her main motivation is that she likes to engage with nature.
“I like planting trees because it lets me have a part in nature, and it’s good for the environment,” Barber said. “I was raised with recycling and respecting the environment, and it ultimately led to me choosing an environmental science major.”
Barber also said she feels that more people should take part in Arbor Day Celebration activities.
“Trees are really important,” Barber said. “They provide oxygen and are needed for an ecosystem to thrive, but we still don’t see a huge turnout for events like these, and I know many students need services hours for their fraternities or other campus organizations.”
Aaron Seay, the grounds coordinator for GC, said he believes that every student should take part in a planting for Arbor Day.
“I think students should do it because it beautifies the campus and it
gives you knowledge you can take with you later in life,” Seay said. “For example, if you wanted to start a garden, some of the things you learn at the planting is knowledge that will help you with the garden.”
Kristen Hitchcock, the GC sustainability coordinator, agreed with Seay.
“GC is a Tree Campus, so the Arbor Day Celebrations will be happening again next year,” Hitchcock said.
To be a certified Tree Campus, five standards must be met and maintained each year. There must be:
1. A campus tree advisory committee.
2. A campus tree care plan.
3. A campus tree program with annual expenditures.
4. An Arbor Day observance.
5. A service learning project to inform members of the college about trees.
The good news is that the program is steadily increasing in the number of people choosing to participate.
“There have been multiple groups this year who planted a tree last year and chose to do it again this year,” Seay said. “We even had people call us asking when they could come out to plant. We are glad people enjoy the events as much as we do, and we are excited for them to start up again.”