February 11, 2020
The Arbor Day Foundation recently recognized East Texas Baptist as a 2019 Tree Campus USA university. Tree Campus USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program that honors colleges and universities and their leadership for promoting healthy trees, and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
“East Texas Baptist is grateful to have our Director of Landscaping Jason Funderburk, who cares for our campus every day,” Assistant Vice President for University Operations Chris Crawford said. “Because of his leadership, our campus is recognized for being one of the most beautiful in Texas, and we are proud to receive recognition as a Tree Campus USA institution.”
In order to achieve this recognition, the University met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including: establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.
“We continue to grow the Tree Campus USA program and drive more campuses across America to strive for Tree Campus USA recognition each year," president of the Arbor Day Foundation Dan Lambe said. "This program sets an example for not only students, but the surrounding communities on how trees are a critical part of healthier and more sustainable communities."
In honor of Texas’ Arbor Day in November, a group of Tiger student-athletes helped plant five Live Oak trees in front of the new Oaks on Grove Townhomes along North Grove Street, and the ETBU landscaping team planted an additional 50+ more trees at sites across the East Texas Baptist campus.
“The most important part of the tree planting to me was seeing fellow ETBU students and athletes all together for a good cause,” freshman Tiger Baseball player Jake Miller said. “I thought it was really cool to be able to plant trees that will be here for future students, because it will make the campus more elegant and beautiful when they begin to sprout with leaves and life. It was really special being able to plant trees that will be here for years after me, because whenever I come back to visit, I will see the tree that I helped plant and remember the good times with my teammates.”
ETBU continues to foster and create opportunities for the University community to donate their time and service for the efforts of campus beautification and for the sustainability of the Marshall community.
"ETBU and the Arbor Day Foundation share a vision to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty, and hunger," ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. "We want our students to understand the story of God's creation and our responsibility as His stewards to care for the Earth He entrusted to us."