Troy University’s Troy Campus is officially a Tree Campus. For those of you unfamiliar with the Tree Campus USA® designation through the Arbor Day Foundation, colleges and universities are eligible to apply for this recognition if they can meet the following criteria for sustainable campus forestry:
1. Establishment of a Tree Advisory Committee
2. Campus tree-care plan
3. Dedicated budget for the campus tree program
4. Arbor Day observance
5. Student service-learning projects
At the dedication today, which coincided with the University’s observance of Arbor Day, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, thanked the groups and individuals involved in making this dream a reality. They include representatives from the Alabama Forestry Commission, Choctawhatchee Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority, City of Troy Parks & Recreation as well as University personnel. Chancellor Hawkins also reminded the crowd of a Native American saying, “we don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we have simply borrowed it from our children.” This idea of “good stewardship of the earth” falls in line with the Arbor Day Foundation’s mission statement of inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees as well as the University’s commitment to beautification.
Chancellor Hawkins also mentioned that the Geomatics and Biology Departments of Troy University are working on a virtual inventory map of every tree on campus. As part of the campus tree-care plan, whenever a tree has to be removed, the University is dedicated to replacing it.
During the dedication, Cliff Hastings of the Alabama Forestry Commission presented Chancellor Hawkins with a Tree Campus USA® plaque and banner. Yet the highlight of the dedication was a tree planting ceremony in the front of Wright Hall in which representatives from most of the groups listed above partook in a shoveling ceremony.
Following the closing, the Alabama Forestry Commission gave out Shumard’s Oak and Bald Cypress saplings to encourage attendees to plant trees at home.