Weber State University, with the help of local elementary students, will be planting trees by WSU’s Stewart Stadium on April 20. WSU’s own Environmental Ambassadors will be hosting the event in celebration of Arbor Day.

The WSU Environmental Ambassadors promotes the integration of sustainability in daily life. They encourage community members to utilize processes like recycling and energy efficiency in order to live a green lifestyle.

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Trees bursting with white florets line the walkway to the Stewart Library. (Christina Huerta/The Signpost)

The Environmental Ambassadors started the tree planting event three years ago and said they received great response from students.

Stephanie Mitts, the student coordinator at the Energy & Sustainability office and the president of the Environmental Ambassadors, said that the club does a lot of campus sustainability events and planting trees around campus, as a way to encourage students to help the environment.

According to Mitts, planting trees has many positive effects on the environment and it’s also fun. Trees can sequester carbon and reduce man-made CO2 emissions. Trees also provide habitat and food for local wildlife, as well as stabilize soil.

“People really like to get involved,” Mitts said. “It’s a good way to give back to the campus.”

Every year for this event, the Environmental Ambassadors plant trees in different locations around campus. With the help of the landscape team on campus, these areas are chosen carefully based on the current needs of the campus. On April 20, eight trees in total are expected to be planted at the north side of the Stewart Stadium.

This year, three species of trees were chosen to be planted. They include the Columnar Colorado Spruce, Arnold Sentinel Pine and Cimmaron Ash, according to a university statement.

The tree planting will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday and is expected to last for two hours. The event is open to all students and community members.

The Environmental Ambassadors will be attending, along with the landscaping team and students from Shadow Valley Elementary School. All the tools will be supplied by the landscaping team, so students can just show up ready to work.

Mitts said she is happy about involving the Shadow Valley Elementary students this year and that the kids are great advocates for a healthier environment.

“It’s exciting to get students involved at such a young age who could be Weber State students one day,” Mitts said.

Jennifer Bodine, the Sustainability Coordinator at the Energy & Sustainability Office, said that WSU has been named a Tree Campus USA for the past four years.

WSU has been continually awarded Tree Campus USA for the engagement of students in creating positive forestry efforts, connectivity with the community to foster healthy forests and beautiful trees.

In order to be named a Tree Campus USA, universities are required to meet and maintain several different requirements annually.

“Our landscape shop is an amazing group of people,” Bodine said.

Mitts said that there are small things students can do to stay green, such as recycling and turning off lights when they are not in a room.

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The canopy of a Weeping Willow grazes the ground by the duck pond. (Christina Huerta/The Signpost)

Bodine said that students should remember to use the free UTA EdPass that is provided for WSU students.

Students who are interested in becoming a member of the Environmental Ambassadors team can visit their website and fill out an application.

In addition to members, the Energy & Sustainability Office is looking for a Student Sustainability Coordinator for next semester.

For more information on the event, students can email Jennifer Bodine at jenniferbodine@weber.edu

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