Southern Miss Tree Task Force Holds Annual Arbor Day Celebration

Published 9:55 am Sunday, February 13, 2022

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) hosted its annual Arbor Day celebration on Friday, Feb. 11 at the Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honors, the newly constructed home of the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families.

“The magnolia tree and three oak trees planted today were chosen because of the history of their use by the United States military,” said Physical Plant Director, Neil Bohn. “Oak trees are typically resistant to disease and have historically been used by the U.S. Navy to build ships, and in addition to being the state tree, the Magnolia is one of the memorial trees planted at Arlington National Cemetery.”

On hand to help plant the trees were students from Innova Preparatory School, a K-12 non-public school that provides a learning environment for students with dyslexia, language disorders, anxiety, ADD and other learning differences.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We love having students participate in this event,” said Landscape Superintendent Michael Scully, who spoke to the group of 40 students about the importance of planting trees.  “Their participation also helps us meet the requirements for the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA designation, which the University was honored to receive again this year.”

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

Southern Miss has achieved this recognition since 2011 by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.