Arbor Day Celebration at Drury Planned for Friday, April 4

Drury University will host an Arbor Day celebration and tree planting at 11 a.m., Friday, April 4, just north of Olin Library. The event is open to the public and media are invited to attend.

The event centers on the planting of a several native trees, including a Redbud, a Yellowwood and three Linden trees. It will also include the reading of a proclamation by Mayor Robert Stephens and remarks by Dr. Gary Wright of Springfield’s Tree City USA Committee.

“We want to heighten awareness of and respect for the urban forest on campus,” said Betty Coe Manuel, Drury’s First Lady and an organizer of the event. “Our entire campus is involved in making Drury a pleasant and ‘green’ place to learn, live and work.”

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri recently recognized Drury with an Exceptional ReLeaf Award for planting projects in 2013. The award was presented to Assistant Director of University Grounds Joe Fearn at the Missouri Community Forestry Council conference in March. During the last two years, Drury has received more than 250 trees and shrubs from the nonprofit organization. Those plants were the foundation of a comprehensive campus landscape improvement. Several areas that were previously intensively maintained but underperforming have been replaced with stylized landscapes using native vegetation.

Fearn and the university grounds crew are making it a point to involve students in the planning of some campus landscaping, too. Sophomore finance major Ted Boland is the Student Government Association’s Vice President for Sustainability. He and Fearn are working together to see that the physical campus reflects students’ preferences through an upcoming survey.

“Current students want to make sure we have a campus that is not only beautiful and inviting today, but is also sustainable and still around for future Drury students – and the community – to enjoy,” says Boland, who is also helping plan the April 4 Arbor Day event.

For more information about the event or Drury’s forestry and grounds efforts, contact: Mike Brothers at (417) 873-7390.

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