Arbor Day is a time to celebrate the remarkable, renewable resource of trees, a source for clean air and water, habitat for wildlife, shade to lower energy costs, and storm water control.
Mississippi State University celebrated Arbor Day Friday [Feb. 8] with an afternoon ceremony and tree planting on Hail State Boulevard.
"Mississippi State has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA since 2013. The 140-year-old land-grant institution annually plants 80-100 new trees on the nearly 1,500 maintained acres of our Starkville campus," said MSU College of Forest Resources Dean George Hopper. "These pine trees will add to that legacy, providing environmental and aesthetic benefits along the university's new Hail State Boulevard."
Nationally, Arbor Day is April 26, but the South's climate dictates an earlier celebration date based on the best time to plant trees.
Coordinated by the MSU Campus Tree Advisory Committee, the event was led by students in the MSU student chapter of the Society of American Foresters and Waldorf Scholarship recipients.
Begun in 2012, this annual MSU celebration recognizes the numerous benefits trees provide the state and university. By planting dozens of trees, students and faculty are participating not only in a campus event, but also are recognizing a national holiday observed in many countries around the world during planting seasons.
"We planted 30-plus loblolly pine seedlings donated by ArborGen, which is the largest global seedling supplier and the leading provider of advanced genetics for the forest industry," said Marcus Measells, chair of the MSU Campus Tree Advisory Committee and forestry extension associate. "By employing state-of-the-art technology, ArborGen is developing high-value products that significantly improve the productivity of forestry."
Samantha Seamon, a senior forest management major from Prattville, Alabama, said Arbor Day holds personal significance.
"Arbor Day is a day advocating the importance of planting trees, and it is a day that celebrates their contribution to a healthy environment," she said. "Arbor Day is significant to me because it shows the commitment of foresters, environmentalists, and even the general public to preserve a natural resource and appreciate its benefits."
For more information, contact Measells at 662-325-3550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.