Three groups of William Woods University students joined forces to celebrate Arbor Day and encourage people to care for their natural environment. The groups conducted a seminar and tree planting on Arbor Day, April 24.
Organic chemistry honor students, and members of Knowing The Woods Club and Sustaining the Woods worked with the Campus Tree Advisory Committee to put on the events.
During the program, William Woods University was honored by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA for the fifth year in a row. In
2010, WWU was the first university in Missouri to achieve this status. Cory Gregg, a Cole County Resource Forester, presented WWU’s Tree Campus USA recognition plaque and materials.
The seminar focused on the recycling of trees and their role in the environment. It was followed by a tree planting near the Alumni and Visitors Center.
“Our goal was to increase awareness about paper recycling and the biochemical impact of trees on our environment,” said Rachael Ostrem, a junior organic chemistry honors student from Radcliffe, Iowa.
“We had a short presentation about paper recycling and trees and followed the presentation with planting a tree near the alumni center. We hope we increased awareness about the environment and we had some fun planting.”
Cassie Dunn, vice president of Sustaining the Woods, explained that her organization is a new recycling and environmental awareness club on campus.
“We just got started this semester and we co-sponsored the event Friday,” she said. “We hoped to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and going green in daily life.”
Knowing The Woods, another student organization, participates in the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, helping to ensure that the university’s trees are cared for in the best possible manner. The organization has celebrated Arbor Day each year since 2009, working with generous donors to plant new trees on campus.
Trees have been planted in honor of people and in honor of a graduating class, but mostly to enhance the biodiversity of The Woods. Tractor Supply of Fulton, Missouri, and its manager, Gary Mather, donated this year’s tree.
“We plant trees to promote healthy trees on campus and tree knowledge. We like to plant new trees to ensure growth to our environment,” said Olivia Rush, a sophomore at WWU from Phoenix, Arizona, and president of Knowing The Woods.
Scott Miniea, social media strategist at WWU, is the club adviser and has participated in every Arbor Day celebration at William Woods.
“My favorite thing about the WWU Arbor Day observance is the fact that it offers a time for us to reflect on how lucky we are to have such a beautiful campus. Because our faculty, staff and students focus on tree care and work to ensure the trees on campus demonstrate biodiversity, our campus is healthier and a more pleasant place.”
He added, “Trees add value in a wide variety of ways, and it is because of this that the Arbor Day Foundation continues to recognize William Woods with its Tree Campus USA designation each year. It is appropriate that we should have such recognition. After all, our students and alumni call William Woods University ‘The Woods’ for a reason.”
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
To obtain this distinction, William Woods University has met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA.
Those requirements include establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota have helped campuses throughout the country plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested $23 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.