Eastern Illinois University has once again been awarded the prestigious status of “Tree Campus USA,” celebrating that renewed achievement with its community partners on campus today and with plans to do the same at a city-wide Arbor Day event at Lake Charleston on Friday.
As part of the celebration, an on-campus tree planting ceremony took place Thursday, April 26 in the circle drive area just east of Old Main. The tree planted in that spot is actually a cultivated descendant of the original EIU burr oak tree, which had been a campus staple for more than a century before lightning strikes forced its removal from campus.
The Thursday planting precedes an Arbor Day event planned for Friday morning, April 27, during which event coordinators and community volunteers will travel from EIU to Lake Charleston to plant trees there as well to celebrate EIU’s Tree Campus USA status as well as acknowledge the City of Charleston’s work in earning a similar “Tree City USA” designation.
In total, EIU’s alliance with the City of Charleston and the Charleston Rotary have helped to raise money for the purchase, planting and cultivation of more than 60 trees and bushes on EIU’s campus and at nearby Lake Charleston.
Tree Campus USA and Tree City USA are subsidiary components of the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA recognizes college and university campuses engaged in effective management of their campus trees as well as development of connectivity with the community beyond traditional campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests. Recognized institutions also strive to engage their student population in these efforts by utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry efforts.