HPU celebrates Texas Arbor Day with activities for local schoolchildren

BROWNWOOD – December 4, 2018 – Howard Payne University celebrated Texas Arbor Day recently with several activities on campus for 96 fifth-grade students from Coggin Intermediate School in Brownwood. HPU hosted the event as part of the university’s Tree Campus USA activities.

Tree Campus USA, a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities for their commitment to campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. HPU has received the Tree Campus USA designation since 2016.

The students, from the classrooms of Wendy Cardenas, Stephanie Maxfield, Debra Walker and Candice Williams, participated in a series of environmental awareness hands-on activities. These activities were designed and facilitated by HPU’s School of Education elementary science methods students under the guidance of Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, associate professor of education. The activities emphasized predator/prey relationships, food chains and food webs. In addition, students explored the role of decomposers in the environment by investigating earthworms. While students enjoyed a snack of “mud” pudding complete with gummy worms, Maci Dorsey, HPU junior from Mount Pleasant, read the Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax.”

Renee Burks of the Texas A&M Forest Service discussed the role of trees and the importance of maintaining trees in a healthy ecosystem. The event culminated in the students’ participation in a tree-mulching ceremony. To commemorate the events, the students were given seeds to plant and a t-shirt as a parting gift from the university.

HPU groups assisting with the event included the School of Education, School of Science and Mathematics, Department of Facilities and Maintenance, Office of University Events, Office of University Marketing and Communications, Beta Beta Beta, Delta Epsilon Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Pi Theta Chi and the Student Government Association.

Terry Pritchett, assistant vice president for facilities and planning, serves as chair of the university’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee.

“In addition to the many campus groups who helped organize and facilitate this event, we’d like to recognize Brownwood ISD, the Texas A&M Forest Service, TXU Energy and Keep Brownwood Beautiful,” he said.

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Cutline: HPU student Camille Webb, junior from Cisco, was among the readers in a group presentation of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.”

Renee Burks of the Texas A&M Forest Service leads the BISD students in spreading mulch around a newly-planted tree on the HPU campus.