Every fall semester, hundreds of California Baptist University students gather on campus to plant trees on Nov. 2 at the annual Arbor Day event.
While the event has previously focused on the importance of planting trees, this year, CBU students have taken the opportunity to focus on a variety of environmental matters.
One matter addressed during this year’s event was the potentially hazardous leaf debris around campus.
Dillion Darr, freshman history major and volunteer at the Arbor Day event, explained the importance of tackling this issue.
“We are making sure no fires start because there is a lot of brush and we have had fires close to the school this year,” Darr said.
Along with cleaning out the brush, students were given many other opportunities to volunteer.
“We had three main teams during this Arbor Day. We had the cleaning teams on Monroe Street and Diana Avenue, the teams that planted small bushes and plants around campus, plus our big Lancer Farms team that helped replace the soil in five different garden boxes at Lancer Farms,” said Katie Murphy, senior environmental science major and student leader for the Arbor Day event.
Murphy further explained the expanse of the students’ efforts.
“Arbor Day is about planting trees and cleaning up the environment. We are being stewards of the environment and celebrating God’s creation by preserving it for future Lancers and future generations,” Murphy said.
Although the event was not a traditional Arbor Day event, Brenda Flores, a Tree Campus USA committee member, explained the importance of the students’ work.
“It is important that we have the trees, the grass and plants and all of that just to live—to be able to process oxygen and carbon dioxide,” Flores said.
Flores encouraged students to continue their efforts.
“The number of students that come out is impressive to me. I know some of the reasons may be varied, but that just means showing up. That doesn’t mean getting out there and actually doing the work and getting your hands dirty,” Flores said.
While the event helps to clean up CBU’s campus, Guy Tanaka, a tree inspector for the City of Riverside, said it also helps the city.
“It is a great example of what to do and we can point to CBU as an example of what to do. Hopefully, we can expanded that to the whole city,” Tanaka said.
The event is set to take place again during the Fall 2020 semester around Arbor Day and while organizers are unsure of what the event will look like, Murphy said, they are hoping to encourage student outreach and promote environmental stewardship.