Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The University of West Georgia celebrated Arbor Day with a tree-planting event at the softball field in the Athletic Complex. Arbor Day is a holiday that began in Nebraska in 1872 and is celebrated in Georgia on the third Friday of February. The Student Government Association in collaboration with the Facilities and Grounds department organized this year’s event.
“Trees provide shade and habitat for wildlife as well as a cooling effect in order to lessen the heat impact on our parking lots,” said James Hembree, the grounds superintendent of horticulture and landscaping. “They provide aesthetic value and if we can plant trees to increase our aesthetic quality of life, I think we’re doing a good thing.”
He also recognized the SGA presence at the event. “We are fortunate to have some of our SGA students out here today helping with this,” he said. “We always try to incorporate student activity in our program, and Arbor Day is a great opportunity for that.”
UWG’s tree-planting and maintenance efforts have been recognized by Tree Campus USA, a program by the Arbor Day Foundation that acknowledges colleges that strive to maintain the tree population on their campuses as well as raise awareness on the importance of trees in their communities. For the second year in a row, UWG was chosen as a Tree Campus USA member.
Dillon Shaffer, SGA director of residence life, attended the event with a friend and fellow UWG student, Ryan Harville. “I think that doing anything to help this university is important. It is important for the betterment of the University of West Georgia and of the Carrollton community,” said Shaffer. “SGA is about helping the campus and that includes planting more trees on campus and making the campus more beautiful.”
The event proved a great success with a total of seven ‘Green Gables’ Black Gum trees planted. UWG is planning to plant more trees in celebration of Earth Day in April and the public is welcome to join the celebration.
Photo: (From left to right) Ryan Harville, Dillon Shaffer, James Hembree.