The current construction boom doesn’t mean that Eastern Kentucky University has forsaken its commitment to an attractive landscape.
In fact, for every one tree removed, the University is planting three new ones.
Recently named a Tree Campus USA for the sixth consecutive year, EKU is planning several events in April in conjunction with Arbor Day and Earth Days.
An Arbor Day chestnut planting ceremony and picnic at the historic Elmwood estate are scheduled for Thursday, April 20. The event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature the ceremonial planting of three trees, a tree care workshop, tree climbing and geocaching, tree identification tours, a “zero waste” lunch and various informational displays. Dr. William H. Martin, retired director of natural areas for the University and an Appalachian old-growth-forest expert, will speak at 1:35 p.m.
Then, on Friday, April 21, a Day of Tree Service will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University’s Taylor Fork Ecological Area on the southern edge of campus. That event will include the planting of approximately 1,000 American chestnut seeds at the orchard site, established in 2016 as part of a national effort by the American Chestnut Foundation to restore the tree to its past glory.
McDonald’s is donating 500 seedlings of native trees for additional plantings at Taylor Fork. The Kentucky Division of Forestry is also supplying approximately 1,500 seedlings for planting throughout April. Faculty, staff and students interested in helping with the planting on April 21 should contact Randy Wilson at email@example.com. Shuttles will run from the Perkins and Whitlock Building.
As a beneficiary of a $5,000 LG&E/KU Plant for the Planet tree planting grant, Eastern is helping to promote the Right Tree/Right Place program (https://lge-ku.com/customer-service/vegetation-management/right-tree-right-place), which seeks to ensure that newly planted trees don’t interfere with utility lines, either underground or overhead. EKU is matching all Plant for the Planet grant funds and using the funds only for tree plantings by campus ground employees and community participants. The Call 811 before You Dig program (www.kentucky811.org, or call 811 or 800-752-6007 two days before digging) is a free statewide communication system designed to save time, money and costly lawsuits resulting from digs resulted in broken utility lines. Each year, millions of dollars in property damage, personal injuries and even loss of life result from careless digging, boring and blasting because underground facilities were not located prior to excavating.
The University is also celebrating Earth Month with several additional events, including:
· A free screening of the environmental documentary, “Before the Flood,” April 12, 7 p.m., O’Donnell Hall, Whitlock Building.
· Madison County Stream Sampling Sweep, April 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., sign up in advance (http://env.eku.edu/events/madison-county-stream-sampling-sweep) meet at Irvine McDowell Park.
· North Fork Reclaim the River Day, April 21, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Lilley Cornett Woods (sign up in advance at http://env.eku.edu/events/eastern-kentucky-service-weekend), transportation provided.
· Earth Month Tree Planting, April 22, Robinson Forest (sign up in advance at http://env.eku.edu/events/eastern-kentucky-service-weekend), transportation provided.
· EKU Earth Day Festival, April 26, 4:30-7 p.m., Powell Plaza, live music, fun activities, environmental displays, cardboard fort-building competition, rain barrel workshop). Volunteers interested in helping to build rain barrels to help capture rainwater and reduce storm water runoff should contact Patrick McKee at firstname.lastname@example.org.