By Sarah Bey
Texas State has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA School for five years and is looking for volunteers to help plant 18 new trees this year.
The 2016 recognition was rescheduled for Friday, February 19 in Sewell Park. Waste Management Assistant Director of Ground Operations Jay Cody says there is a one-for-one policy in which they remove one tree and replace that tree. He also says this effort will help to reforest the Sewell Park area and promote diversity among the trees.
“They’re planted up away from the river,” said Cody. “So if it were to flood again, they should be ok.”
Honors Nature Professor Susan Hanson says the new trees will help to sustain the park if it were to flood again.
“Obviously they provide habitats for creatures along the river,” said Hanson. “But they also hold soil in place and I think that’s probably the most important function that they provide for the river to keep soil from washing into the river.”
Hanson has lived in San Marcos since 1971 and participated in the first Earth Day as a college student and has also participated in past Arbor Day celebrations at Texas State. She says events like these help people to learn more about the world around them.
“I participated in one that I can remember — planting trees over on West Campus and that was really fun,” added Hanson. “It was a very community-geared event. Everybody chipped in and helped. I was out there planting trees with some colleagues from the english department, which was fun and I’ll be planting in this one as well.”
Cody says the Arbor Day celebrations have always been popular since there are a lot of students who want to help in environmental causes. H.E.A.T. Environment Executive Hannah Creasey has been involved with the organization for three years and encourages members to pursue projects in the local area.
“These environmental causes are things that are going to affect them for the rest of their lives,” said Cody. “No matter where they live, no matter where they’re going. So, like to be able to get involved with them now while they’re still young and learning then, they can see how it affects just the area around them.”
Cody says participants should bring their own pair of gloves to the event.
“We’ll have shovels, we’ll have mulch, we’ll have rakes, we’ll have all of that stuff,” Cody continues. “Trees will be on site. Holes will be pretty much prepared. All they need is a great attitude and we’ll take it from there.”
If you want to participate, you can sign up online at the Texas State Arbor Day Sign Up page. The first 100 participants will receive a “I Planted a Bobcat Tree” shirt. Planters will need to bring their volunteer release form and present a Texas State student ID to pick up tee shirts. The event begins at 10 a.m.