Campus inaugurates tree trail at Friday event

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

During a Friday [Oct. 23] public program near the Moon Sycamore (above) at the Junction, MSU will announce its Campus Tree Trail to showcase and increase knowledge of campus landscape efforts. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—As part of the 2015 National NeighborWoods® Month observation, Mississippi State is establishing a Campus Tree Trail to help showcase its vast campus landscaping efforts.

During a 3:30 p.m. Friday [Oct. 23] program open to all at the Junction’s far west end, university officials formally will announce the new tree identification trail, including a virtual trail to be published on the MSU website. The location is the site of the Moon Sycamore grown from a seed taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.

MSU is home to more than 10,000 tree species and varieties. Each year, the 137-year-old land-grant institution plants 80-100 new ones—along with more than 50,000 daffodils and other color plants—on the nearly 1,500 maintained acres of its Starkville campus.

Over the years, more than 150 of these trees have been placed as memorials to deceased students.

To create the trail, MSU students and staff will use global positioning system equipment to record each tree along the trail. Informational plaques will be displayed at each site.

The project is made possible through a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation that recognized MSU in February as a Tree Campus USA. For more, visit www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/index-about.cfm.

Celebrated each October, National NeighborWoods® Month is a campaign involving tens of thousands of volunteers that plant and care for community trees to help make their communities greener and healthier. For more, see www.neighborwoodsmonth.org.

For more on Campus Tree Trail or the dedication event, contact Jason Gordon, MSU Extension assistant professor at the Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Gordon, also chair of the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, may be reached at 662-325-8851 or Jg966@msstate.edu.

Bart Prather, associate director of campus landscape, may be contacted at 662-325-2499 or BPrather@campuslandscape.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.