In support of becoming a recognized Tree Campus USA - through the Arbor Day Foundation, the University of Chicago celebrated Arbor Day on Friday, April 26, 2019. This inaugural event was a day to celebrate, promote, and recognize the value of our campus trees. Modeled from Tree City USA, this initiative is designed to award national recognition to college campuses promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.
The event was hosted by Facilities Services and led by Kathleen Golomb, manager, campus environment design. In true University of Chicago form, participation in the celebratory planting of a red oak, Quercus rubra, in the Main Quadrangle, north of Rosenwald Hall, was attended by a wide range of students, faculty, and staff. Forming a true sense of community, approximately forty University of Chicago Laboratory Schools - nursery and kindergarten students and teachers joined this collaborative event. Many of the students were thrilled to pick up mounds of soft soil with their hands; some of the older students wielded the heavy shovels to backfill the hole created for planting the tree. Reflecting on the event, Golomb remarked, “Encouraging the youngest members of our community to embrace and enjoy all the benefits we receive from trees is paramount. Being able to provide this experience of truly seeing and being actively involved in planting a tree - it’s something I hope will remain with them the rest of their lives.”