In conjunction with the 2013 Earth Day Celebration, a tree planting was held on campus as an observance of Arbor Day. The Sugar Maple, of the cultivar Majesty, was planted in front of the Budds Building located on Mansfield Road and was generously funded by the EcoHusky student group and the Green Campus Fund. Millane Nursery provided the Sugar Maple for a second year in a row and John Kehoe, a University Arborist, coordinated all the site preparations and will care for the tree in the future. Eileen McHugh, a University Landscape Architect and the University Tree Warden, offered a few words for the occasion.
Today we talk about sustainability, but when I was in school the word we used was Stewardship. They have similar meanings. Both are about caring from what you have and leaving the earth in a better condition for the next generation. But I find an additional meaning in the word stewardship. Implicit is a gratefulness to people whose previous actions created what we have today. When I look down Mansfield Road and the Bus Way I see trees that were planted 80-100 years ago. Maybe there was a tree planting event or maybe someone planted them in the hopes of one day getting maple syrup. In either case, I am grateful that they planted them. I am especially grateful this time of year when I see students walking three abreast in dappled sunlight.
Since many trees on campus are maturing and some are even in decline, the older trees must be taken care of and and new ones must be planted to make sure UConn continues toward sustainability. The tree was dedicated to all students throughout the state and country who planted a tree for Earth Day or Arbor Day. Though the simple act of planting a tree, our university and the community at large can have a token of sustainability that can be passed on for generations to come.