West Halls gets new tree for Arbor Day

University Park, Pa—The tall stately oak trees between McKee and Watts halls have a new neighbor. On April 30, Waring Dining Commons, along with Office of Physical Plant (OPP), planted a dogwood tree in the West Halls courtyard to celebrate Arbor Day.

The sapling replaces a giant oak that was cut down last summer. It is the first of several trees that will be planted on future Arbor Days. Jennifer Krise, manager of Sisu, Waring's all-natural convenience store, organized the event that had both staff and students in attendance.

Krise contacted OPP landscaping supervisor Brian Phiel about finding a location for the tree and how to get it into the ground. OPP workers dropped the nine-foot baby tree into its new home as Krise shared the background of Arbor Day and the story of West Halls' new tree with the crowd.

"Planting trees is an act of kindness and optimism," she said. "The trees we plant clean the air, beautify our neighborhoods, provide homes for wildlife, conserve energy and topsoil and help keep the atmosphere in balance. Life is just better when we live among the trees."

Phiel said the new dogwood may grow to around 15 to 20 feet tall — tiny compared to the over 50-year-old oaks that peak out over the roofs of the residence halls.

"We worked together to find the best location," Phiel said. "It made sense to put it near where the old oak was."

The Arbor Day tree planting was the culmination of events held by Sisu for Earth Week. Other events included a daylong environmental film series in the Sisu Lounge and Earth Day giveaways.

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010