A small group plants a tree at the 2014 ArboBlitz at Chadwick Arboretum North. Credit: Courtesy of Christina Voise

As Earth Month comes to a close, the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens will continue its work honoring the environment and community with its annual Arbor Day celebration Friday.  

The event will take place at Kottman Hall at 10 a.m. and will dedicate the 32 trees the Chadwick planted last fall as well as honor members of the community with the Lorax Awards. These are presented by the Chadwick Arboretum annually to individuals on campus who advocate and speak for trees.

“It’s a celebration of trees and all the tree work we’ve done in the last year,” Mary Maloney, director of Chadwick Arboretum, said.

The event will feature a wide range of attendees, including members of the Ohio State Tree Advisory, groundskeepers at Ohio State, professors, students and visitors. Joe Blundo, a columnist for the Columbus Dispatch, will be the lead speaker.

According to Maloney, the Arbor Day celebration has been around since the university opened in 1870 and is one of the five criteria needed to keep their Tree Campus USA certification.

Tree Campus USA is a program that recognizes college campuses that promote planting trees and building student involvement, according to its website.

To be a certified Tree Campus, there are five standards that must be met, including a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, sufficient funds to hold events for its annual program, an Arbor Day observance and a service learning project.

The university was awarded certification for the eighth year in a row this year.

Andrew Neil, resource planning analyst at Ohio State, said one of the main goals for the university is to double the number of acres that provide at least two ecosystem services.

“Not only do trees provide us with beauty and shade, but they also provide many other benefits, sometimes referred to as ecosystem services,” Neil said.

Planting additional trees, usually done each year during ArboBlitz — Chadwick Arboretum service learning event where faculty and students help plant trees — is one of the services provided.

According to Neil, trees can improve air quality, moderate the climate and reduce and treat stormwater.

“Celebrating good choices is important, and hopefully the Arbor Day Event can introduce and reinforce the positive effects of trees and green spaces on our university community,” Neil said.