More than 250 Tyler Junior College students, employees and community volunteers gathered Friday morning on the TJC central campus to plant trees in celebration of Arbor Day.
Hosted by the City of Tyler, the Tyler Trees Committee, the Texas A&M Forest Service, Keep Tyler Beautiful and TJC, the event included the addition of 50 new trees to TJC’s landscape, replacing some that had been lost to old age and extreme weather conditions. Many of the downed oaks that were lost in recent years had lined TJC’s Fifth Street entrance for more than 80 years.
The new trees included an assortment of red oak, maple, mulberry, sycamore, elm and dogwood, among others.
“TJC is an absolutely beautiful campus,” said Dr. Deana Sheppard, TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs. “We’ve lost a lot of trees in the last few years, and our landscape looks a little different — but you are helping to change that today. You are going to make a big difference in how our campus looks in the years to come.”
“Arbor Day is more than just about planting trees, it’s our responsibility to protect and nurture the environment,” said Don Warren, Tyler mayor. “We’ve lost trees all over the city, whether it’s in our parks or in my yard or your yard — just everywhere. So, I want to thank you all for coming and doing this. Also, please make sure you come back in 10 years to visit the tree that you planted and to see the shade that it creates and enjoy it.”
Daniel Duncan, staff forester with the Texas A&M Forest Service, gives volunteers a brief tutorial on tree-planting before they disperse across campus for Friday’s Arbor Day event on the TJC central campus.
TJC student groups assisting with the event included: Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa; Apache Aeros; Apache Ambassadors; Apache Cheer; Apache Chiefs; Black Student Association; Dental Studies; Fitness and Friends; Hispanic Student Organization; Nursing; Student Senate; TJC Football; and TJC Men’s and Women’s Soccer.