In late November, about 90 La Salle University staff and students planted 50 trees on south campus donated by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota. The event was part of the Tree Campus USA program, which honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy urban environment management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society co-hosted the event, which is part of the Plant One Million campaign to restore the tree canopy in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
“We’re excited to share the spirit of stewardship with La Salle University,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Through working together to plant trees and beautify the campus community, we help grow the next generation of conservation leaders.”
Tree Campus USA is supported by a grant from Toyota.
During 2011, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota helped campuses throughout the country plant 30,000 trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities have invested more than $22 million in campus forest management.
“The planting of these trees will be a social, communal, environmental and economic benefit to La Salle University,” said Mario Menocal, superintendent of grounds at La Salle.
He said 15 different types of trees were planted.
Menocal said that Marino Building Contractors, based in Germantown, dug all the holes for the trees and donated their labor. Mike Marino, owner of the company, said he’s the third generation of his family’s business to have worked with the University.
Norbert Belzer, an associate professor of biology at La Salle whose specialty is botany, spoke at a ceremony before the three were planted. Belzer has worked to increase the tree population at La Salle for many years. “Some years ago, I saw what was listed as an old Greek proverb. I have seen it worded a bit differently on several occasions, but I like the first one best: A society grows great when the old plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.’
“There may be some truth in this,” Belzer said, “but maybe a better measure might be as follows: A society grows great when the young do things–and today it is planting trees–that won’t directly benefit them, at least in the short term.”