HIGH POINT, N.C., April 22, 2013 – High Point University marked Arbor Day with a special ceremony April 18. The university handed out 200 dogwood trees to community members to plant around the city, and announced plans to plant 60 more on campus.
The new trees are in addition to five new large Oak trees recently added to the Kester International Promenade and the 50,000 bulbs donated to the campus in recent years.
HPU was also presented with the Tree Campus USA designation by Eric Muecke, a regional urban forestry specialist from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the university has been honored as a Tree Campus USA. 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. HPU is one of six campuses in the state to receive the award.
“We’ve reached a 386 percent increase in diversity in our gardens since we began our efforts, and we have one of the most beautiful and diverse campuses in the country,” said Jon Roethling, curator of grounds. “Please feel free to come and visit our beautiful campus to volunteer or get involved in our gardens.”
The celebration continued Friday, when staff and students planted the new trees around campus. Students involved with the gardens say it’s both enjoyable and educational.
“Last summer, I had the incredible opportunity of volunteering in the gardens on campus,” said student Shelby Jones. “We planted bulbs and I learned all about their diverse environments. It was one of the most enriching and incredible experiences of my life.”
“Our student involvement is at the heart of what we do,” said HPU First Lady Mariana Qubein.
During the ceremony, HPU professors discussed how the gardens help enhance their class assignments, including teaching biology majors how to identify different plant life.
Arbor Day originated in 1872 in Nebraska City, Neb. by J. Sterling Morton.