Deep Roots; CASNR student groups contribute to campus beautification
By: Norman Martin
Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources marked its annual celebration of sustainability and community this week with its annual Arbor Day event on Friday (Apr. 27). The event, which featured several CASNR organizations, is a partnership among Student Union & Activities, Center for Campus Life, Grounds Maintenance, Hospitality Services, Recreational Sports, Student Activities Board, Transportation & Parking Services, TTU Ethics Center, and the Operations Division.
Arbor Day is an annual event that provides an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to join together to beautify the Tech campus, while building a sense of community, said CASNR Dean William Brown. Live music, free food and t-shirts, and planting alongside other Red Raiders makes the event one of Tech's most anticipated events, he said.
CASNR organizations participating in the annual campus-wide program included
• Agricultural Education & Communications Graduate Organization
• CASNR Dean's Office
• Floral Design Club
• Horticulture Club
• Meat Science Association
• Society for Conservation Biology
• Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (SASLA)
When Texas Tech was founded in the 1920s, most of the funds went towards the buildings, but the campus was lacking landscape. In 1937, President Bradford Knapp decided to dedicate one day every spring to beautify the campus. He proclaimed to the university that one day every spring Texas Tech faculty, students and anyone who could lend a hand would help plant trees and shrubs around campus.
The day was carried out in true West Texas fashion. Knapp, State Sen. G.H. Nelson, Business Manager W.T. Gaston, Superintendent of Buildings J.H. Grimsley and other administrators supervised the work on horseback. Home economics students in long dresses and sunbonnets rode in covered wagons to hand out coffee and doughnuts to the volunteers who were planting.
Although it was a great celebration for one day of the year, caring for the trees and shrubs became difficult for the other 364 days of the year due to the inadequate water supply. Most of the plants died, leaving the Texas Tech campus as the typical West Texas land it's known for. The tradition lasted only 10 years, ending in 1948, until it was resurrected in the late 1990s by former Texas Tech Chancellor John Montford.
The annual Arbor Day tradition has grown exponentially since then. Today, more than 160 student organizations participate in the planting process and help the university's Grounds Maintenance Department tend to the landscape all across campus.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org