On April 22nd, 2014, UConn’s Arbor Day Observance ceremony was held in conjunction with Earth Day Spring Fling, a campus-wide sustainability initiative that attracts thousands of students to the center of campus every year. UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy worked with Architectural and Engineering Services Planning to hold the event to celebrate our first year as an Arbor Day Foundation certified Tree Campus. During a specially announced time in the middle of the Earth Day event, a tree planting was held in honor of Arbor Day and UConn’s new designation.
Students from across campus, particularly those from EcoHouse, the environmental learning community, and EcoHusky, an environmental group on campus, gathered as the Tree Campus USA banner was displayed. Andy Bilich, an intern at UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy, led a discussion about the importance of Arbor Day and informed the crowd of the meaning of the Tree Campus USA certification. Afterward, volunteers from the crowd aided in the planting of the White Oak (Quercus alba) prominently in front of the Student Union on campus.
The 2014 Arbor Day tree was generously funded by the EcoHusky student group and the Green Campus Fund and was planted as a symbol of UConn’s commitment to pursuing sustainability and working towards a greener campus for years to come.