CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University’s canopy of green will be celebrated at special Arbor Day festivities beginning at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 on the lawn just east of the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. The WTAMU campus is home to approximately 500 trees, and Friday’s event will celebrate the recent addition of 24 more.
The University began its efforts to increase the tree population on campus in 2011. Since then, matching funds from the Chapman Forestry Foundation have helped with the cost of new trees. This year’s trees were planted across campus but the biggest groupings were at Buffalo Courts and the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. The types of trees are selected for their hardiness to the Texas Panhandle climate and include Texas Red Oak, Chinese Pistachio, Lace Bark Elm, Burr Oak and Locust. Red Bud trees have also been planted through the years.
“So many of our elms are so big and old, we want to ensure a canopy for the future,” Larry Bedwell, grounds manager, said. “We select areas where the trees are old and dying and plant new trees that will eventually replace the older ones.”
Friday’s celebration will include information about the trees selected for planting as well as proper planting procedures.
The Arbor Day celebration is a first for WTAMU and marks a step toward the University becoming an official Tree Campus USA School. WTAMU hopes to receive Tree Campus USA recognition by meeting five requirements that reflect dedication to the campus environment. The five standards include a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance and a service-learning project. Many two- and four-year accredited colleges and universities across the United States are recognized as Tree Campus USA Schools.
In case of inclement weather, the Arbor Day celebration will be moved inside to the Grand Plaza lobby of the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. For more information, call Bedwell at 806-651-2151.