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Shepherd named Tree Campus USA; tree planting and ceremony planned April 27

ISSUED: 11 April 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University has been designated a 2018 Tree Campus USA and will celebrate during the ninth annual Shepherd Arbor Day tree planting on Saturday, April 27. Sam Adams, urban forester with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, will present a plaque, Tree Campus USA flag, and a lilac tree to Shepherd during a ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Carl F. Bell Arboretum site on West Campus on University Drive adjacent to Dunlop Hall. The annual spring tree planting will take place from 10 a.m.-noon. Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony and help plant trees.

“Campuses are a great place to have trees and tree plantings, increase canopy, appreciate trees that are already there, get people fired up about having Arbor Day celebrations, and encourage students to be involved in conservation and sustainable campus forestry,” said Dr. Carol Plautz, professor of biology and campus tree committee chair.

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Shepherd achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, having a campus tree-care plan, having dedicated annual expenditures for its tree program, hosting an Arbor Day observance, and offering students service-learning projects. Currently there are 364 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

“Tree Campuses and their students set examples for not only their student bodies but the surrounding communities showcasing how trees create a healthier environment,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation.

In addition to being named a Tree Campus USA, Shepherd will receive 16 mixed hardwood trees from the Cacapon Institute’s CommuniTree program to plant on April 27. Plautz said six of the trees will be native flowering hawthorn and kousa dogwood that will be planted by Kenamond Hall.

“The other 10, plus some that will be purchased as part of the Carl F. Bell Arboretum, will be native trees that are underrepresented on campus, such as yellowwood, cottonwood, burr oak, linden, and hickory,” Plautz said.

The Carl F. Bell Arboretum was established last fall with a donation through the Shepherd University Foundation from the late professor and his family.

Plautz said the Cacapon Institute is funding two internships for Shepherd students, one in Jefferson County and one in Berkeley County. Students interested in forestry, ecological, and sustainability-type fields will work with foresters to help survey and enhance urban canopy.

Meanwhile, students in the biology honor society Tri-Beta continue working on a project to identify all the trees on Shepherd’s campus, and Plautz said computer science students and faculty will help translate the data into an interactive web resource that will become a guide to where the trees are located.

“It’s a process of using technology to make the beauty of the trees even more accessible and useful to people and more of an educational resource and tourist attraction,” Plautz said.

For more information, contact Plautz at cplautz@shepherd.edu.

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