The University of Findlay celebrated Arbor Day 2017 on Monday, April 24, by planting a London Planetree just north of the bell tower on Cory Street Mall. The University has observed the holiday for years, but this year marks the first time it has done so as a Tree Campus USA, a designation recently bestowed by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The arboreal addition is one of eight trees being planted this spring to replace campus ash trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Approximately 80 more trees will also be planted around the Center for Student Life and College of Business before it opens for classes this fall.
Ben Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, is calling this “the banner year for trees” on UF’s campus. He thanked the University grounds grew for helping to keep the area’s trees and other vegetation maintained and healthy throughout each year.
President Katherine Fell noted that trees help reduce erosion, moderate temperature and preserve a sense of place in our lives. “Wherever they are planted, they are a source of joy and renewal,” she said.
Stephanie Miller, an urban forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Findlay office, noted that Arbor Day is one of the oldest observed holidays in the United States.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the holiday was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, a journalist whose love of nature went with him when he and his wife moved to Nebraska Territory from Detroit. His fellow pioneers on the plains missed trees for several reasons. Morton decided to use his communication and government skills to promote a day for planting trees, and the practice soon spread throughout the nation.