Tree Planting Party Teaches Students the Art of Gardeningcsudhbulletin November 16, 2022 0 COMMENTS
Joshua Baragan taught CSUDH students how to plant trees at a tree-planting party hosted by the Office of Sustainability. Photo by Kimberly Resendiz
By Kimberly Resendiz, Staff Reporter
The common answer to why planting trees is important is to help improve climate change. Arbor Day Foundation explains, “Trees help remove carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees provide many benefits to us, every day.”
Joshua Baragan, a farm intern at the Sustainability Center at California State University, Dominguez Hills, agrees but he believes students are also benefiting in more ways than one.
“I’m planting trees if not for myself then for the people that come after me. That is the whole ideology of the farm. We are growing food for the students by the students,” Baragan said.
The Office of Sustainability hosted a tree-planting party event last month, where students were taught the tree-planting process. This was all in honor of Arbor Day, a national celebration founded in 1984 to recognize trees and the ecosystem services they provide.
At CSUDH, students participated to not only honor Arbor Day but also celebrate the upcoming graduating class of 2023.
Ellie Perry, a sustainability manager at CSUDH, explained there are a variety of reasons why they plant trees. One of them is that the Sustainability Center is part of Tree Campus USA, a program that is part of the Arbor Day Foundation. It allows colleges and universities to achieve national recognition for their commitment to maintaining urban forest management.
“We have a certification to recognize our best practice management over our campus trees. So as part of that, we regularly plant new trees,” Perry said.
Being involved with Tree Campus USA means obligations need to be met. Celebrating Arbor Day is one of them and so far 411 campuses have received recognition including the University of California, Irvine and CSU Channel Islands.
Green Graduation Pledges offered by the Sustainability Center are another way to ensure more trees are planted on campus. Students graduating within the next five years can pledge to take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job, and strive to improve aspects of their work environment and daily life post-graduation.
Perry continued, saying that depending on the number of students who pledge in the graduating year’s class, CSUDH’s Facilities Services will donate $1 per pledge to help fund more tree planting on campus.
“Trees are always being planted at the Campus Urban Farm but this is a formal event where we show people and allow them to observe the process,” Perry said.
The avocado, pomegranate and fig trees planted during the ceremony are meant to provide a sense of comfort and symbolize new experiences for the community. Avocado trees represent growth and prosperity, pomegranate trees stand for friendship and fig trees symbolize abundance and strength.
Campus Urban Farm is located on Pacific View Drive near Lot 7 and is open to staff and volunteers Monday through Friday throughout the semester. Visitors may schedule a formal visit by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org directly with their availability to ensure a volunteer will be on-site.
Baragan said, “[The food] is all for the students, all for free. So if we are here and they want to pick a lime all they have to do is ask. We are not selling it to them. It is planted by them for them.”