Ouachita Baptist University will host an Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 29, beginning at 2 p.m. in the amphitheatre located on Ouachita’s campus. This service-learning event demonstrates Ouachita’s commitment to trees as part of the university’s environment as part of its environmental stewardship plan.
Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. It was first observed as a formal holiday in 1872.
“Our Environmental Stewardship Committee has met several times this year to talk about projects we can take on to continue improving the environmental awareness of our faculty, staff and students,” said Brett Powell, OBU vice president for administrative services. “One of the ideas we came up with was trying to meet the requirements to be named a ‘Tree Campus USA’ university.
“‘Tree Campus USA’ is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation that promotes awareness of how important trees are to all of us,” Powell explained. “One of the requirements of the program is hosting an Arbor Day celebration.”
Ouachita’s Arbor Day celebration is sponsored in part by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and is open to both the Ouachita community and the larger Arkadelphia community. As part of the celebration, participants will have the opportunity to plant trees on campus, work in the ravine and compete in a tree scavenger hunt for prizes. Ice cream will be served concluding the event at Heflin Plaza at around 4 p.m.
“It is important to work on the ravine in order to prevent further erosion of the stream bed in the ravine and keep the ravine looking beautiful,” said Dr. Tim Knight, OBU’s J.D. Patterson Professor of Biology and a member of OBU’s Environmental Stewardship Committee. “Think of it as the ‘on-campus’ version of Tiger Serve Day.”
“It will be a great opportunity to get outside, get away from the books for a few hours and do something to help Ouachita and the environment,” Powell noted. “I’m sure some students have never planted a tree before so this would be a good opportunity to learn something about tree planting. Also, through the scavenger hunt, they will learn a few things about the trees we already have on campus, not to mention prizes and free ice cream.”
For more information about Ouachita’s green initiatives, visit www.obu.edu/green.
By Meg Gosser