Celebrating Arbor Day with tree planting at EOU
LA GRANDE – (Release from Eastern Oregon University) Arbor Day 2022 is in the books, marking the continuation of Eastern Oregon University as a Tree Campus USA, along with the addition of some brand-new healthy trees thanks to the EOU football team.
On April 29, 15 EOU student-athletes took part in a tree planting event as part of Tree Campus USA.
“It’s always the kids, it’s always the students… And of course, we’re achieving something as well. We’re getting trees in the ground and getting them in properly. But they make it quite fun,” Campus Arborist David Yoder said.
The students planted eight trees on the grounds of the Integrated Service Building (ISB) on Gekeler Lane in La Grande.
“We simply put in some Juniperus scopulorum, Rocky Mountain Juniper skyrockets. Those will become like soldiers around the perimeter. They’ll get 25 feet tall and eight feet in diameter,” Yoder said.
EOU students have been assisting in volunteer Arbor Day activities since 2015, with the football team taking the lead in tree planting events in recent years.
“Coach Tim Camp and his leaders on the football team have been a tremendous help over the last several years planting trees,” Yoder said. “They’re great, we kind of just oversee and instruct. We’ll review the work and make sure it was done right, but Coach Camp, he really enjoys it…and it’s been a lot of fun,”
The tree planting is one of multiple events done as part of EOU’s status as a Tree Campus USA/Higher Ed. EOU first started working toward Tree Campus USA in 2014, was officially recognized in 2016 and has since maintained that status.
“The [Oregon Department of Urban Forestry] in conjunction with Arbor Day Foundation developed a plan for universities called ‘Tree Campus USA,’ and that’s to bring awareness of urban forestry and the value of trees to a community,” Yoder said.
As part of its Tree Campus USA status, EOU maintains a tree advisory committee made up of an administrator from facilities, the campus arborist, a faculty member, a student and another off-campus arborist or community member at large.
“We have several meetings a year with the committee, and so now we’re even planning for next year. The committee reviews the campus arbor and talks about planting and activities. It really is student involved.”
The committee will meet in October to discuss future Tree Campus USA, Arbor Day, and other tree planting events.