Students and staff from University of the Cumberlands (UC) gathered on UC’s campus to plant a tree in an inaugural observance of Arbor Day. After the planting, a brief workshop was held for students to learn the basics of tree care and maintenance.

Yes, Arbor Day occurs in April, not in December. This late Arbor Day observance is simply one step in the University’s push to become a certified Tree Campus USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation by the time 2018 arrives.

“Trees provide environmental benefits including reduction of carbon dioxide, reduction of runoff and erosion, and provision of habitat for wildlife,” said Dr. Todd Yetter, a UC professor and member of the University’s tree advisory committee, who spoke at the event. “These trees will also serve as an outdoor laboratory for teaching students about tree taxonomy, ecology, and tree care and maintenance.”

To obtain certification as a Tree Campus USA, a college campus must establish five things: a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project. The new committee at UC is hard at work with hopes of meeting all standards before the new year.

The committee’s goal is to increase the numbers and diversity of native trees on campus. In the next few years, the committee, in conjunction with UC’s office of operations and Straight Cut Tree Services, will be removing trees that have stopped growing and replacing them with healthy, native species. Other events will be held throughout the years with the purpose of edifying the campus and community on the benefits of trees and how to care for them.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at