Happy Arbor Day ! And as my son finish another semester of college here at UL of Lafayette, Louisiana. I thought i would show off the campus trees. That make this university a Tree Campus.
The Century Oaks
The Century Oaks aren’t the largest live oaks on campus, but they are the most treasured of the genus Quercus virginiana.
On Jan. 1, 1901, Dr. Edwin Stephens, the university’s first president, planted 18 young trees near the campus entrance. Ten remain, lining the corner of Johnston Street and University Avenue and shading the grounds of Girard Hall.
“At the turn of the 20th century, Johnston and University were dirt roads,” said Jim Foret, a UL Lafayette instructor and licensed arborist. “Over time, horse-and-buggy traffic became car traffic but there were no curbs at the intersection. People would park their cars right up on the roots, compacting the soil.
Oak tribute Bus stop:
Acorns don’t fall from several sprawling oak trees recently “planted” by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Birds don’t land on their long, flowing branches, either.
The trees are vinyl illustrations that adorn the walls of four, three-sided public bus stops along a stretch of Johnston Street that runs past the UL Lafayette campus.
“The illustrations tie each stop to one of campus’ most recognizable, significant features – its sprawling oaks,
Tree Campus U.S.A.
Tree Campus USA is a program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation. The program recognizes colleges and universities that manage their campus trees, connect with the community to foster healthy, urban forests, and engage students in service learning that supports forestry efforts. UL Lafayette earned its seventh consecutive title in 2015.
To become a Tree Campus USA college, the institution must meet five standards:
- Establish a campus tree advisory committee
- Create a campus tree care plan
- Dedicate annual expenditures to the campus tree program
- Hold an Arbor Day observance
- Provide service learning projects for students
In the spring of 2010, students, faculty, and administration gathered for the university’s Campus Clean-Up day and planted an additional 43 trees to commemorate UL Lafayette’s installment as a Tree Campus USA member. In 2013, students and staff planted 20 more trees as part of the Arbor Day celebration. Within a year of receiving the Tree Campus USA designation, the University planted over 700 trees on campus and around the city of Lafayette to show its dedication to sustainability and honor our rich history of the Century Oaks.