Members of the Bryan College community gathered in the Triangle to celebrate the school’s latest distinction, being named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Brian Eisenback spoke to the honor of receiving this “tremendous award,” noting that Bryan College is one of only two campuses in the state of Tennessee to be marked with this distinction this year.
Being certified as an official Tree Campus is an arduous process, with multiple standards of excellence that must be met in order to meet the qualifications. Campuses must have an advisory committee that represents local forestry and manages local trees, in addition to enacting a Campus Tree Care Plan that lays out goals for assessment, protection, and preservation. Other standards include an Arbor Day observance ceremony and service learning projects that encourage collaborative learning and community initiatives.
At the certification ceremony, Bryan administration, professors, and biology students assembled to recognize the efforts of Adjunct Professor Dr. Roger Sanders in this endeavor and to plant the newest addition to the Bryan collection of trees. Tony Simpson, East Tennessee Urban Forester from the Tennessee Division of Forestry recognized Bryan for its excellence in leading the state in this area. President Stephen Livesay spoke, thanking Dr. Sanders for “his pioneering efforts” that have encouraged Bryan College to pursue “good stewardship of the natural resources on campus.”
Following the ceremony, Dr. Livesay, several members of the administration and science faculty, and Bryan Science Society President Kate-Marie Parks planted the newest tree on campus: a Dawn Redwood, a species believed to be extinct but rediscovered in China in 1945. The planting of this tree signified another step toward what Dr. Livesay called “the accentuation and enhancement of the beautiful surroundings given to us.”