UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy held an Arbor Day celebration today in collaboration with the university’s Earth Day Spring Fling.
The celebration was meant to acknowledge UConn’s status as a Tree Campus USA university and educate students about the significance of trees to the environment.
There were tables with interactive activities and giveaways throughout Fairfield Way that were meant to educate the UConn community on the importance of protecting our environment.
Among these vendors was Katherine Dugas, an employee at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station.
Dugas said that she attended the event to raise awareness on campus about the Emerald Ash Borer beetle.
“It’s devastating to our native ash tree population,” Dugas said.
Dugas said students will be able to recognize the ash trees around campus by their green tags.
According to Dugas, students should keep an eye out for the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle because they are prevalent and are a threat to this species of tree.
Dugas was one of many environmentally savvy experts who tabled at the event to educate the attendees about trees and other aspects of the environment.
Despite the heavy winds, the event brought out a lot of students.
According to Chris Bruno, 6th semester resource economics major and intern at UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy, it was the biggest turnout the office has ever had for Arbor Day.
Bruno said that the highlight of the day was the planting of the Franklinia tree outside of the School of Business.
“Greg Tormey from Facilities Operations gave everyone a brief history of the tree and then we started digging away; we had Greg, John Kehoe and Bill Bates all from facilities, student volunteers, and even the Husky mascot out there planting the tree,” Bruno said.
According to Bruno, the large tree cake was also a big success, and everyone seemed to enjoy the event.
Bruno said the university is planning on celebrating Arbor Day every year, and he emphasized that this year’s success was thanks to a lot of helping hands.
“This event could not have been as it was without the help of student volunteers, the other interns at the Office of Environmental Policy, Eileen McHugh from Planning Architectural and Engineering Services, facilities, Dining Services, and Student Activities. It was a true team effort,” Bruno said.