On October 4, 2018, the campus community joined the Village of Cazenovia in its Annual Community Planting project. Every fall, from late September to early October, the Village of Cazenovia Tree Commission selects 12-15 trees to plant during an organized event. This year, 12 trees were planted along the perimeter of the Cazenovia College campus on Lincklaen and Sullivan streets.

"This year is a very special occasion because it is our first collaboration with Cazenovia College," says Amy Mann, deputy mayor and village of Cazenovia tree commissioner. "The village is a Tree City USA, which means we applied for and received special status based on our meeting several criteria. And Cazenovia College is a Tree Campus USA, and they must meet a similar set of criteria."

This collaborative effort between the village and College made this year’s event particularly successful. Tom Tait, founder and director of the village of Cazenovia tree commission, adds, "…We have a high level of respect for President Ron Chesbrough and what he is doing in the community. It is important for us to not only beautify, not only the village, but the perimeter of the College Quad… We have a huge turnout of students and that’s what made it such a quick and successful project."

Dr. Thad Yorks' Field Botany class, Environmental Club, volunteers from the Village of Cazenovia Tree Commission, and local community members joined in helping to plant six trees along Lincklaen Street and another six trees along Sullivan Street. All of the trees are between six to eight feet in height and bare-root.

Dr. Yorks, environmental biology and biology professor explains, "Bare-root means that they will be much easier to plant than the standard balled-and-burlapped trees familiar to most people. The tree species have also been selected by the village’s tree commission for their ability to grow in the challenging conditions found along residential streets."

The planting locations for each of the trees was determined in consultation with Stefan Opalenick, Cazenovia College's grounds supervisor. The members of the village’s tree commission considered the growing space available at each planting site. The tree species include American elm, serviceberry, crabapple, honey locust, paperbark maple, yellowwood, musclewood, and hedge maple.

Yorks adds, "We added species that have a tremendous value from an educational standpoint, because I can show students right outside our backdoor a much wider variety of tree species than most people can."

The village's tree commission was established in 2007 after it was discovered that the village was losing mature trees and not replacing them. Tait adds, "We started a volunteer initiative, under the village board, and every year we have planting projects like the one we are conducting today. We scope it out in advance and try to match the right tree with the right location, gather our volunteers, and we knock it out in a matter of a couple hours."

The College community is honored to have been part of this annual event. Students gained knowledge from the hands-on learning experience, while giving back to the local community. Along with the volunteer community members, students will take pride in watching the trees they had a hand in planting, grow and mature.