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April 18, 2019 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Effective urban forest management has garnered Eastern Oregon University recognition for the third consecutive year as a Tree Campus USA® from the Arbor Day Foundation.
The university will celebrate this honor on Arbor Day, April 26, on campus in La Grande. Leaders will gather at the flagpole on University Boulevard beneath the Tree Campus USA flag at 10 a.m. to plant a tree near Inlow Hall.
David Yoder, campus grounds crew member and ISA certified arborist, said the tree they’ve chosen to plant this year is a Friendship Tree, grown from a ginkgo seed that survived the nuclear blast in Hiroshima.
Yoder leads the EOU Tree Campus Committee and offered his thanks to Oregon Dept of Urban Forestry and Arbor Day Foundation. He said both organizations have been supportive in helping EOU move through this process.
He’ll join fellow committee members at the Arbor Day celebration to raise the Tree Campus USA flag and give a brief “State of the Campus Trees Address.” Then the group will plant the Friendship Tree near Inlow Hall.
“The parent tree survived the blast, and as a sign of peace and friendship this tree will grow on our soil,” he said.
The tree bears a tag with a QR code that leads viewers to the story of its significance.
Finally, Yoder will share the history of EOU’s Oregon Heritage Tree — a robinia pseudoacacia (black locust). Sixty trees in the state have been named heritage trees, and are commemorated for how and why they were planted and maintained.
EOU is one of six universities in Oregon to meet Tree Campus USA standards this year. The institution must maintain a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.
The designation also aligns with EOU’s strategic goals to provide and maintain a campus that promotes a thriving university community. Created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management, the national program encourages staff and students to engage in conservation projects.
“By earning Tree Campus USA recognition, your campus has shown its commitment to protecting and preserving its valuable tree resources and will reap their benefits for generations of students to come,” Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lamb said.
Community members are welcome to attend the Arbor Day observance, beginning at 10 a.m., April 26 by the flagpole next to Badgley Hall.
For more information about the program, visit arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.
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