June 10, 1908, the Reno community convened on the Quad at the University of Nevada, Reno, with its recently planted trees, to celebrate the dedication of the Mackay Mines building and the statue of John W. Mackay. After much maturation, the University was designated as a state arboretum in 1985 by the Nevada Legislature. In 1987, the Nevada Quad was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and categorized as a Jeffersonian Academic Village.
This Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the University will again celebrate an historic event - being honored as a Tree Campus USA.
"This is a special designation for our campus that so many have worked long and hard to be recognized for," Cheryll Glotfelty, professor of English and chair of the University's Arboretum Board, said. "We are thrilled the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the value and diversity of the flora on campus for both enjoyment and educational pursuits."
Tree Campus USA is a recognition conferred by the National Arbor Day Foundation, honoring college and university campuses for establishing and sustaining healthy community forests along with promoting student involvement. Universities must meet five standards, including forming a campus tree advisory committee, tree care plan, tree program dedicated to annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance and a service-learning project.
"Last fall, the University's Arboretum Board and the City of Reno teamed up to plant shade trees at the Child and Family Research Center on campus," Glotfelty said. "The University has been planting trees in observance of Arbor Day for many years. With these efforts and other combined efforts of so many throughout the University's green history, it is great to receive this recognition."
An Earth Day ceremony will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 22, in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union, a building designed with environmental sustainability at its core. Attendees will hear from Glotfelty, University President Marc Johnson, Assistant Director of Grounds Services Marty Sillito and Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator in the Nevada Division of Forestry David Howlett.
On Arbor Day, Friday, April 24, members of the Arboretum Board, the City of Reno and others will join together to plant a Deborah Norway Maple tree at 1 p.m. near the east parking lot of the Nevada Historical Society building. The day will also include arboretum tours led by students, poetry readings and the annual planting of a Paw Paw tree at 3:15 p.m. in the recently named Raymond Needham Paw Paw Grove on the southwest corner of the West Stadium Parking Complex. In addition to the Tree Campus USA ceremony, the University will celebrate Earth Day with a number of campus and community participants and activities, organized by the Joe Crowley Student Union, including a tree sapling giveaway, recycling sessions, "poet-tree" sessions and a free public debate about local water management by the University's nationally ranked Debate Team.
"Thousands of people will soon come to campus for commencement and will enjoy our beautiful Quad," Glotfelty said. "We welcome them to walk and look around - enjoy the Quad, Manzanita Lake, as well as our many other beautiful spaces."
As summarized by the University of Nevada, Reno Historic Quadrangle Strategic Planning report, completed July 2013: "Each year, thousands of students graduate on the green lawns, have picnics and study in the shade of the 100-year-old elm trees. It is an important part of the University experience for students past, present and future...the Quadrangle represents a very essential area of campus."