A conglomerate of Jamestown Community College students, teachers and staff participated in Arbor Day celebrations by introducing a new tree to the Jamestown campus.
The celebration was held Friday behind the Physical Education Complex, where a young butterfly magnolia tree was placed in the ground and set in place by attendees of the event.
Participating in his first JCC Arbor Day dedication was President Cory Duckworth, who admitted that some reflection time on his relationship with trees was necessary; having grown up in the arid, sparsely vegetated climate of Utah's Salt Lake Valley.
Students, teachers and staff of Jamestown Community College pose next to a newly-planted butterfly magnolia tree at the college’s Arbor Day observance on Friday. The college’s Tree Campus USA designation is displayed on a banner and plaque.
P-J photos by Gavin Paterniti
"It's interesting when you think about the role that trees play in our lives, and when you really think about it, trees are important for us," Duckworth said, sharing a few stories from his childhood. "There's something about being around trees that is comforting and relaxing; it tends to soothe the soul and helps us to appreciate life just a little more. For me, there's nothing quite like laying under a tree, looking up through its boughs and seeing the blue sky and clouds move across the sky. That is about as relaxed as I can ever remember being."
Duckworth followed his personal comments with a quote from poet Robert Louis Stevenson and the formal proclamation of April 25 as Arbor Day at all JCC locations.
In conjunction with Arbor Day, JCC also celebrated its designation as a Tree Campus USA college for the fifth consecutive year. In order to achieve this title, the campus had to meet five standards, including maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.
JCC was the first community college in New York state to achieve this designation. In a pamphlet from 2010, the Jamestown campus boasted 12 different tree types.
According to Janis Bowman, associate professor of biology and tree advisory committee chairperson, the college's ongoing Tree Campus USA designation is an important achievement.
"We're quite proud of our Tree Campus designation," Bowman said. "It's a pretty big deal because we have to reapply for that every year.
Bowman said the college's Tree Campus USA designation requires the planting of at least one tree on Arbor Day, which the campus has fulfilled each year. She said additional trees will be planted on the campus over the next several months.
Tree Campus USA is a national program, created in 2008, to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management, and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Toyota helped launch the program, and continues to provide financial support for Tree Campus USA.