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Aug. 24, 2013
For more images of Northwest's annual new student tree-planting ceremony, click here.
Northwest Missouri State University freshmen took another opportunity Saturday morning to commemorate the start of their college careers during the University’s fifth annual new student tree planting ceremony.
Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski, with his dog, Ruby, welcomed about 200 members of the freshman class and formally introduced them to the Missouri Arboretum, which is located on the Northwest campus.
“This is one of the most beautiful campuses in America,” he said. “As you think about it, the importance of the planting of a tree really exemplifies your growth and your rebirth throughout your years at Northwest.”
In honor of this year’s freshman class, Northwest planted a Crimson King Norway Maple. The tree grows to a height of 35 to 45 feet and spreads about 25 to 30 feet while providing dense shade and showing purple-green foliage throughout the summer. Its oval to rounded crown fills with maroon-yellow flowers in the spring, and leaves turn brown, dark maroon or bronze during the fall.
The tree is located southeast of the Memorial Bell Tower.
Northwest Student Senate President Cody Uhing, on behalf of the freshman class, accepted a small identification plaque that is placed at each tree on the Northwest campus. Maryville Mayor Jim Fall also addressed the students, encouraging them to embrace the city and campus as their home.
“Maryville and Northwest Missouri are names that are synonymous with everything that we think about when we think of this part of the country, when we think about Missouri, when we think about the Midwest, and we challenge you to join us in enhancing and embellishing this community over the next four years,” Fall told the students.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a group of students helped Travis Stokes, Northwest’s manager of landscape and sustainability, dig a hole for the tree, cover its roots and spread mulch at the base of the tree. Students then tied green ribbons to the tree’s branches, as is the tradition at the end of each ceremony.
Jessica Bonnot, a horticulture major from Liberty, was one of the new students who took a special interest in shoveling dirt and helping to plant the tree. Bonnot said she chose to attend Northwest because she was attracted to its small-town atmosphere and availability of hands-on opportunities for learning – like working at the state arboretum.
“I absolutely loved it,” she said of participating in the tree-planting ceremony. “I can’t wait back to come back years from now and see if it’s still here and say I helped plant it.”
Designated the Missouri state arboretum in 1993, Northwest is home to more than 1,700 trees and 128 species, which have helped the campus earn a reputation as one of the most beautiful university campuses in the country. Northwest’s history of tree management goes back to its earliest days as the property on which the University was founded in 1905 had been a tree nursery.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468