The first thing I ever loved about Furman’s campus was the beautiful mall, framed by the towering oaks that help create Furman’s charming and calm atmosphere. It seems that trees have a knack for that, for creating beautiful and peaceful settings to study, work, and live in. But it’s not just for appearances that Furman’s trees are so important, trees are also valuable for their energy reducing shade, air cleaning systems, and protection that they provide us. Trees are something worth celebrating, which is why the Shi Center dedicated October 27th to be Furman University’s Arbor Day.
Arbor Day was a celebration of Furman’s 9th annual year of being declared a Trees USA Campus. This means Furman is still dedicated to effective urban forest management, and has followed requirements set out by Trees USA to protect and honor the trees on campus. Furman’s Arbor Day celebration helps complete one of the certification requirements set out by Trees USA.
Our Arbor Day celebration kicked off with a planting of five Dogwood trees near the Trone Student Center parking lot. We thank Trees Greenville for their donation of these trees, Ms. Sheree Wright for her insight and advice on how to appropriately plant the Dogwoods, and the Greenbelt community for helping us to plant them.
We then moved on to the celebration, complete with a lesson from Dr. John Quinn (a Furman Biology professor) about how important trees are as a habitat for birds and other creatures. Breaking off into groups, we hung 30 birdhouses with the purple bell tower logo to provide new homes for these birds, and add a little flair to the trees. The celebration continued with cocoa, cookies, temporary tattoos, and music.
We oftentimes take our beautiful campus for granted. It is so easy to quickly walk from class to class with our heads in a book or distracted by a phone, passing through life without actually seeing it. On this Arbor Day and every day, we hope to take the time to consider the environment around us, look up at the trees, and cherish their beauty and value.
This year I have lots of plans for how to get students and community members excited about sustainability. From social media to pop-ins and posters, my fellowship enables me to have a voice on campus to promote the Shi Center and Furman’s values. I hope you will join us on our quest for a sustainable future! Speaking of social media, don’t forget to follow us!
Facebook: David E. Shi Center for Sustainability