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USM Sees Four New Trees Planted as Part of Arbor Day Ceremony

Fri, 02/14/2020 - 14:51pm | By: Van Arnold

Children from The DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) had an opportunity to participate in tree planting as part of USM’s annual Arbor Day ceremony held Friday, Feb. 14 on the Hattiesburg campus.

The event took place at the corner of Hardy Street and N. 30th Avenue -- the site of the old Jazz Station that was severely damaged by the February, 2013 tornado.

Loren Erickson, Superintendent of Campus Landscape and coordinator of USM’s Tree Task Force, oversaw the planting of four trees as part of the ceremony, including a live oak, purple leaf plum, black gum "wildfire" and a trident maple.

The USM Tree Task Force includes representatives from various University units, including students. Erickson notes that the primary objective of the task force is to administer tree-related activities on the Hattiesburg campus.

“This includes, but is not limited to, tree selection, tree removal and pruning, emergency tree removal, construction protection and mitigation,” he said. “Basically, any tree-related activities on campus are reviewed by the Tree Task Force.”

Erickson estimates that more than 100 trees have been planted on the Hattiesburg campus since the 2013 tornado struck. In addition, there have been close to 40 trees planted as part of construction or pathway projects.

Dr. Chris Crenshaw, Senior Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management, said the Arbor Day ceremony highlighted the University’s ongoing commitment to campus improvements.

“The site has a lot of history, as it has served as a fire station, and eventually became rehearsal space for the music department’s jazz program,” said Crenshaw. “We are excited to bring enhancements to this area of campus, as they will coincide with the improvements coming to Hardy Street and N. 31st Avenue.”