Kent State shows dedication to the earth


Photo by Martin Harp.

Martin Harp

Kent State celebrated Arbor Day and the university’s performance in Recyclemania, a national recycling competition, with a tree planting ceremony outside Centennial A and B on Thursday.

Alan Siewert, regional urban forester from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, presented the Tree Campus USA award.

The award is from the Arbor Day Foundation and recognizes campuses that carry on urban forestry, Siewert said, which is the care of trees and shrubs in a human environment.

“As important as it is to have nice buildings, it’s important to have trees and a nice-looking environment,” Siewert said.

In the first year the award was offered, Stewart said, Kent State was one of only 29 schools nationally and the only one in Ohio to receive the designation. This is the sixth consecutive year Kent State has received the award.

Along with the award, a tree was planted outside of Centennial Court A and B by residents in honor of Arbor Day and Centennial Court A and B’s performances in Recyclemania. Centennial Court A and B were most improved during the course of Recyclemania. Engleman Hall was the overall best hall on campus, but because of past victories, there was no room for a tree, outreach recycling coordinator Leah Graham said. Instead, Engleman Hall’s efforts were honored with a plaque.

Graham said it makes sense for the tree planting for Arbor Day to coincide with Recyclemania because they both promote sustainability of the environment.

Jason Knowles, chair of the tree advisory board, was there to guide and help the student plant the tree.

“I think it’s important that the students are involved, that they understand that it is important,” Knowles said. “I want to get everyone’s hands in on the process and make sure the students are there to add soil to the tree planting.”  

Heather White, manager of University Facilities and Management, said the university always plants a tree for Arbor Day and a couple years ago started linking the planting with Recyclemania a few years ago .

“It shows our dedication to trees on campus,” White said. “It shows that we know the value of a healthy urban forest.”

Arbor Day in Ohio is on Friday, April 25.

Contact Martin Harp at [email protected].