“Lofty Elm” Highlights Arbor Day Event - SUNY Cortland

“Lofty Elm” Highlights Arbor Day Event

 “Lofty Elm” Highlights Arbor Day Event

04/24/2013 

The lyrics of SUNY Cortland’s alma mater begin with the phrase, “By lofty elm trees shaded round.”

So it was fitting that College President Erik J. Bitterbaum and other campus community members gathered Friday beneath the limbs of a “lofty elm” near the Miller Building - a Scot’s elm (Ulmus glabra) to be exact - to launch both an ambitious campus tree-naming program and an annual Arbor Day celebration.

A nameplate identifying the species of the tree and providing a QR code linking to additional information was the first of dozens of identifying labels that the College hopes to post on different trees during the 2013-14 academic year. 

Together, the labeled trees will make up a new “Campus Tree Walk” that inquisitive strollers can explore with a smartphone, iPad or other device able to read QR codes.  In all, SUNY Cortland’s sprawling campus includes about 1,500 trees, according to Professor Steven Broyles, chair of the Biological Sciences Department and a member of the campus Tree Advisory Committee.

“We want to demonstrate that we understand and value the importance of trees in providing a healthy and sustainable environment,” Bitterbaum said. “Starting this year, we will formally recognize Arbor Day on campus. Eventually, we hope to be designated as a “Tree Campus USA.”

Ninety college campuses across the country are currently designated as a “Tree Campus” by the national Arbor Day Foundation. In the State University of New York system, only the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse has that honor, which indicates a campus’ trees are effectively managed and its students both understand the value of trees and are engaged in their support.

“The campus recognizes that trees are an economic, as well as an aesthetic, asset,” said Broyles, noting that the towering elm on which he and President Bitterbaum screwed a temporary version of the sign pulls about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.  “The trees reduce heating costs, they serve as wind blocks, they filter pollution and they help control storm water. They perform lots of interesting environmental services. We want to protect that and improve our urban forest.”

One of the elements of SUNY Cortland’s application for the designation is an annual campus recognition of Arbor Day. On Friday, at 10 a.m., President Bitterbaum began a new tradition, formally proclaiming an impressive elm tree on the north side of Miller as “The President’s Tree” and pledging to celebrate on campus the importance of trees to the environment every Arbor Day.

Arbor Day comes at the end of Sustainability Month at SUNY Cortland. Sustainability month features a range of campus and community activities aimed at raising awareness of environmental, energy and agricultural issues.

Permanent signage with working QR codes will eventually be affixed to most campus trees with special spring-loaded screws that allow the tree to grow. Signage for large trees, like the Arbor Day elm, will be 4-by-6 inches. Plaques on smaller trees will be 3-by-5 inches.

 Each sign will include some basic information about the tree, as well as a QR code that can take viewers with devices capable of reading the code to a web page providing additional details about each particular species.

 The project grew out of the work of the tree advisory committee, which was charged with reviewing the care of existing campus trees and oversight of plans to plant new trees.  Committee members include Broyles; Amy Shellman, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation Parks and Leisure Studies; Adam Levine, campus data systems administrator; Claire Hartl, a conservation biology major; Michael Ullbwerg, a geography major; Paul Paradine, forester and lead analyst for vegetation management at NYSEG; Matthew Swayze, forester with the state Department of Environmental Conservation; David Horrocks, assistant director for buildings and grounds services; Donald Moody, supervisor of grounds; and Nasrin Parvizi, vice president of Facilities Management

 


More News

Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Supreme Court Analyst Scores High

Timothy Delaune again shows an accurate reading on U.S. Supreme Court actions.


Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

Research Team Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

The new project blends the study of biomechanics and speech pathology.


Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

Academic Convocation to Open School Year Aug. 28

This annual tradition launches the academic journey for first-year students.


SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

SUNY Cortland Recycles One Third of its Trash

Keeping nearly 175 tons of plastic, paper and cardboard out of the solid waste stream.


Water Sustainability Project has African Reach

Water Sustainability Project has African Reach

Campus water conservation now is linked to alumna Karen Collier Flewelling '64.


Education Leader Stays Loyal to Alma Mater

Education Leader Stays Loyal to Alma Mater

Orphaned at 9, Peter Kachris '56 said Cortland set him on the right path.


Five Physical Education Student Teachers Commended

Five Physical Education Student Teachers Commended

The five were honored with Lenore K. Alway and Anthony P. Tesori Awards.


College Joins Select Company in ‘Healthier’ Campus Initiative

College Joins Select Company in ‘Healthier’ Campus Initiative

SUNY Cortland is one of the earliest campus participants in a growing national movement.


Employee Team Finishes Second at Corporate Challenge

Employee Team Finishes Second at Corporate Challenge

A four-person team from the College took second place in the mixed team division.


Alumni Reunion 2016 Kicks Off July 7

Alumni Reunion 2016 Kicks Off July 7

Several hundred alumni and friends will visit campus from Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10.


Explore

Visit

Contact