Skip to main content

Students plant three new oak trees in honor of Texas State Arbor Day

November 8, 2022

East Texas Baptist University faculty, staff, and students gathered on the University grounds to plant trees and contribute to the beautification of campus on the official Texas State Arbor Day. While National Arbor Day occurs in late April, Texas Arbor Day occurs on the first Friday in November due to the cooler temperatures. In addition to improving the campus grounds, ETBU utilizes Arbor Day to provide a unique opportunity for students to get involved in the tree-planting process each year.

“Keeping up with the environment is really important, and it gives us something to take pride in and recognize what God has given us through His creation,” ETBU senior science secondary education major Erick Arellano said. “As a student, it is cool to see the University not just care about what is going on in the classrooms but also about how we are presenting ourselves to the world. I love coming to a campus that looks pretty everywhere I go.”

The group of Tiger students and student-athletes planted three live oak trees in front of University Park Row Houses on East Texas Baptist University’s campus.

“A beautiful campus will encourage a healthy lifestyle for students outside of the classroom,” ETBU Director of Landscaping Jason Funderburk said. “Emphasizing the importance of trees and promoting education about trees and their role in our lives can help foster a greater sense of appreciation for them. When the students leave ETBU, we want them to appreciate the beauty of the east Texas landscape and not take it for granted,” Funderburk added. “It is our hope that we have created an environment where the students will want to go outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, and hear the running water in the stream at the Grove or sit outside on the patio with their friends at the Quad. The living-learning spaces evoke a feeling of pride and belonging. And that feeling contributes to students treasuring their time here and to the affinity alumni take with them after graduation.”

Prior to the planting of the trees, two representatives from Harrison County Texas A&M Forest Service attended the event and taught the group about the importance of trees, especially for the East Texas region.

“To see a university taking the initiative to beautify campus through the planting of trees shows an appreciation and stewardship of the forest,” Harrison County Texas A&M Forest Service professional Jonathan Cole said. “It shows that we are not doing these things on our own and that the university isn’t doing these things on its own. We are working together, and it is a cohesive unit. I want to encourage students to really take care of their campus, even in the simplest of ways. It is important to take care of the forest for so many reasons. We truly require trees to keep functioning how we function, and on the contrary, trees require us.”

The presentation at East Texas Baptist was one of over 90 Texas A&M Forest Service presentations across the state on Texas Arbor Day as the organization strives to increase awareness of the benefits and value of trees. Jacey Tosh, Texas A&M Forest Service Conservation Education Coordinator, said Texas Arbor Day is about more than planting trees and serves as a reminder that our lives are connected to forests and the trees around us.

“It’s about bringing trees and forests back into the everyday hearts and minds of all Texans,” Tosh said. “In the end, we protect what we love, we love only what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught. Sharing conservation and tree education with schools and students all across the state ensures that the future of forests is as bright as we hope it will be.”