Volunteers plant grant-provided trees at Southeastern
Contact: Elise Doster
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Southeastern students help beautify campus – Junior biology and French major Yazmyn Smith (left) and freshman nursing major Demontez Stimage (right), both of Hammond, help Southeastern horticulturist John Blackwell plant a parsley hawthorne on the university’s main campus. Southeastern was awarded 250 trees by the Apache Foundation to replenish foliage damaged during Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University was awarded 250 trees by the Apache Foundation to replace vegetation lost and damaged during hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.
The trees include live oaks, southern magnolias, tulip poplars, parsley hawthorns and sweet bay magnolias, and have been planted in the area around Southeastern’s Friendship Circle and throughout North Campus.
Since 2006, the philanthropic arm of Apache Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company, has donated one million trees to non-profit organizations across the nation to encourage environmentalism and community enhancement.
Southeastern’s Landscape and Grounds division of Physical Plant Services applied for the grant in the summer of 2009. The trees were planted this month with the help of student and community volunteers.
Carlos Doolittle, a university horticulturalist, said volunteers who helped plant the trees were eligible for the “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day” program that awards a day of service with a free, one-day ticket to any Disneyland or Walt Disney World theme park. Southeastern volunteers were required to register through the HandsOn Network to help Disney reach their goal of encouraging one million days of service on behalf of non-profit organizations.
“I see my kids going to school here one day and I would like to be able to walk around campus with them and show them the trees that I planted here,” said student volunteer Demontez Stimage of Hammond.
Doolittle added that in addition to the environmental benefit of adding trees, beautifying the campus could have a positive impact on student recruitment because people often remember their first impressions.
“I personally believe that people respond to the aesthetics of a space emotionally and actively, even if they do not understand or pause to assess why they are responding as they do,” Doolittle said.