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Western Illinois University's celebration of Arbor Day in 2013. WIU School of Agriculture Forestry Instructor Paul Blome addressing those who attended the ceremony in April 2013. Last year was the first year Western was designated as a Tree Campus USA and earned the honor again in 2014.
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WIU students help plant trees on Western's Arbor Day ceremony in 2013. The 2014 tree-planting ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 25 at Lake Ruth, followed by a demonstration of how to correctly plant a tree by Blome.
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WIU Arbor Day Celebration April 25

April 18, 2014

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Facilities Management and Horn Field Campus invite the WIU and Macomb communities to celebrate Arbor Day, Friday, April 25, by volunteering to plant trees and attend special tree-planting ceremonies at Western.

For the second year, Western has been designated as a Tree Campus USA. Western achieved the title by meeting the Tree Campus USA organization's five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee, having a campus tree care plan, dedicating annual expenditures toward trees, hosting an Arbor Day observance and sponsoring student service-learning projects. The national Tree Campus USA program was created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

The schedule for the 2014 Arbor Day activities is listed below. To volunteer for the Arbor Day "We Care" activities, contact Tara Beal, superintendent of landscape maintenance, at

  • 1-2:15 p.m. — "We Care" volunteer opportunities on the main WIU campus (mulching the berm across from the Leslie F. Malpass Library); refreshments and gloves provided.
  • 2:30 p.m. — Arbor Day ceremony at Lake Ruth, followed by a demonstration of how to correctly plant a tree by WIU School of Agriculture Forestry Instructor Paul Blome.
  • 3-5 p.m. – Additional "We Care" volunteer opportunities at Lake Ruth (planting trees/mulching) and Horn Field Campus (to plant 800 saplings); refreshments and gloves provided.

  • 3:30 p.m. Tree-planting ceremony at Horn Field Campus.

Last year, a successful Arbor Day Foundation grant application by faculty in WIU's Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration and staff at the Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc. (Macomb, IL), resulted in a $10,000 award for a reforestation project at Horn Field. The award provided for more than 16,000 saplings to be planted at the challenge course area and in the surrounding woodlands.

In addition, in 2013, Blome and his students began a tree-tagging project on campus, in which they used large "price" tags and attached them to a number of trees to show the dollar-amount benefit each tree provides to the community. According to Blome, benefits include pollution reduction and energy savings. (For more information about Blome's tree-tagging project and the overall value the tree "canopy" provides to the WIU community, see "Tree Canopy at WIU Provides $800K+ of Value for Campus Community" at

Western's landscape maintenance department, within facilities management, maintains more than 2,800 trees on the Macomb campus. Each fall, as part of the "We Care" event, Western's volunteer campus beautification program, trees are planted and/or mulching is completed around existing trees. Each spring, as part of Arbor Day, Blome and urban forestry management students lead tree plantings with elementary schools in western Illinois, a tradition that was started in 1993 by WIU Forestry Professor Tom Green. In addition, each spring semester, two trees are planted on WIU's Macomb campus to honor WIU employees and students who have passed away.

For more information, contact Beal at

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