Photo by TJ Ramirez
By Destiny Caster
On April 26, CI celebrated its 20th anniversary and Arbor Day by planting 20 trees in the perimeter of the A3 parking lot. As one of the many CI Earth Month events, the tree planting was meant to teach people the importance of our environment and how we can become more environmentally conscious, while adding more trees on our campus.
The CI View reached out to CI’s Sustainability & Energy Director, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, about the significance of the event. She stated, “We’re planting the 20 trees to recognize our 20 years as a campus and to really invest in our future as a university and to address climate change.”
Each year, CI plants a tree to celebrate Arbor Day, which is on April 28. As of 2022, there are 1,579 trees and about 90 species of trees on campus. This year, community members, staff, faculty and students joined to plant 20 more trees, the most that CI has planted at once in observance of Arbor Day.
“It’s really exciting to see that all these people showed up and that they’re going to be able to leave a lasting legacy at the University that they can come back to and visit and see how it’s grown over time,” said Beigel-Coryell.
The Arbor Day Foundation has named CI a Tree Campus USA for the 10th year in a row. CI is one of 411 campuses across the United States to earn the distinction. This recognition is for campuses that develop and maintain a healthy tree canopy and create programs to make the tree population sustainable.
The 20 trees planted were of two different species: the Western Redbud and the Palo Verde. The Western Redbud is a California native tree that produces magenta flowers and is drought tolerant. The Palo Verde is a genus of yellow-flowering deciduous trees and one of the most drought tolerant trees.
The trees are also important to improve our local air quality. California contains seven out of the 10 of the most ozone polluted cities in the country. As Californians, we are four times more likely to experience serious health conditions related to air pollution. Trees are natural air filters, so by planting the trees, CI is contributing to improving the local air quality.
CI’s tree canopy is currently at about 40% and the goal is to increase that to 50%. The trees that were planted help CI move closer to reaching that goal.
As CI nears the end of its 20th year, it has proven its commitment to developing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy while promoting sustainable tree population programs. The 20 trees planted will be a legacy that continues to grow alongside the University.