Holy Cross students and staff gathered on April 27th to plant a tree in celebration of Arbor Day. Every year, the College of the Holy Cross plants commemorative trees to honor some of our community members. These trees join the many others in the campus arboretum. For Arbor Day 2022, one commemorative tree went into the highly visible Stein Courtyard, symbolizing the College’s commitment to ‘caring for our common home.’ While the tree was planted, attendees enjoyed locally baked tree themed cupcakes and talked with sustainability interns about tree management.
In addition to the tree planting and opportunity to converse about trees, Holy Cross launched a short-term tree identification project. HC community members took photos of trees across campus, tried to identify them, and described their condition. Their observations and photos went onto the iNaturalist app for others to review and exchange thoughts. This project allowed the HC community to act as arborists for a week and get to know the different trees on campus.
Holy Cross remains committed to educating our community about trees through the campus arboretum and the annual tree planting event. “It’s nice to see the HC community get excited about trees for a day, and take a moment to engage with the arboretum. It’s special that a wide variety of trees can intersect with campus life in so many ways and connect with specific community members through the dedication process,” said Cathy Liebowitz, director of sustainability.
Every year, the College of the Holy Cross plants commemorative trees to honor some of our community members. In 2021, a tree was planted for Jim Long and a second tree was planted for Donna Wrenn, both long-time employees of the College. These trees join the many others in the campus arboretum.
In 1997, the Grounds Management Society and Grounds Maintenance Magazine named the College of the Holy Cross as the best maintained university grounds in the United States. Today, the Holy Cross community continues to take pride in its beautiful campus, including its Campus Arboretum.
As visitors and community members roam the campus, trees and shrubs will greet them at most turns. Arboretums offer a research, educational, and decorative space to celebrate diverse trees and shrubs. Holy Cross’ Campus Arboretum stretches across the 174 acre Worcester campus. There are over 115 varieties of trees and shrubs, many of which are commemorative plantings. Explore the Campus Arboretum booklet to review some of the commemorative plants.
Madeline Peplinski ’22 shares her experience living and learning within an arboretum. “I appreciate having an arboretum on campus because I remain amazed by some of the pieces of nature we have. I’ll never forget when the campus Gingko tree covered the ground with its bright yellow leaves. It was like entering a different world for a moment. There are so many different types of trees and spaces on campus it really is a gift. It is important to highlight green spaces so moments like this can continue to happen. So when you unexpectedly come down a staircase on campus and see a piece of nature you’ve never seen before.”