Sam Houston State University is celebrating its sixth annual Arbor Day event March 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. This event will profile SHSU’s “urban forest” and those in attendance will have the opportunity to win prizes through a scavenger hunt and trivia called Tree Quest III. The on-campus location will be provided through email after participants register for the event.
SHSU Arbor Day is an annual service-learning project organized by the SHSU Landscape Services, Department of Leadership Initiatives and Campus Arborist Evan Anderson.
“The tree quest is an adventure and trivia event where participants use a clue sheet to find and answer tree questions hidden around campus,” Anderson said. “The goal of the event is to teach people about the critical role trees play in our lives and ecosystem, explore our awesome campus urban forest and have fun.”
Anderson said a lot of thought goes into Arbor Day-related activities as there is even a Campus Tree Advisory Committee dedicated to “establishing and maintaining a safe, sustainable, healthy, and attractive campus urban forest” per the campus tree care plan.
“The Campus Tree Advisory Committee is a campus tree think-tank compromised of students, faculty, staff, and community members,” Anderson said. “We meet twice a year and discuss tree issues on campus and brainstorms ideas for the two annual Arbor Day events.”
Anderson believes learning about trees and planting them has numerous benefits as they clean our air, protect our waterways, reduce energy consumption in buildings, provide habitats for animals and make the world a more beautiful place.
“Every tree planted on campus is going to provide tangible benefits for generations of Bearkats,” Anderson said. “It will shade them while walking to class, help give them clean air to breathe, and make our campus a greener place to live, work, and learn. It has been found that you can lower stress levels and increase physical and mental healing by simply looking at trees. Without our trees, it would be a much hotter, dirtier and stressful environment on campus.”
So far, about 70 participants have registered, but Anderson is hopeful this number will increase and welcomes any tagalongs. The only requirement to participate is to wear appropriate clothing to work outdoors along with closed-toe shoes.
“Students should come out because it shows support for our great campus urban forests,” Anderson said. “Our trees are one of the great assets of SHSU and we are all better off by learning more about them. Also, you get to meet great people and explore campus in a different way.”
With the help of Arbor Day events, SHSU has won the Tree Campus USA Award for effectively managing trees and engaging students for four years running. Anderson hopes to win another with the help of his fellow Bearkats. To register for this event, visit http://www.shsu.edu/dept/leadership-initiatives/cls/ArborDay.html.