College Hill Becomes Part of Tree Campus USA
Published: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 16:11
On Tuesday, Oct. 22 The Arbor Day Foundation, which organizes Tree Campus USA, certified the College of the Holy Cross into the program. Holy Cross is ranked second in Massachusetts behind the University of Massachusetts Lowell. At 9:45 AM, members from the Holy Cross, Becker College, Worcester State, and city of Worcester communities attended the ceremony held at Fitton Baseball Field. After the event, a total of thirty-five new trees were collectively planted on the college campus and Caro Streets. However, the planting did not stop there.
“The planning of the event involved many different groups and organizations,” commented Andrew Varuzzo, ’15. This past summer Varuzzo conducted research at Holy Cross under the Mellon Grant Research Program. “I pitched the idea for Holy Cross to get involved with the Tree Campus USA organization to the Holy Cross Physical Plant this past March. After the approval of this proposal, we were able to begin planning for this event in mid-August.”
The ceremony opened with President of the college Fr. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., city manager Michael O’Brien, Worcester Tree Initiative Steering Committee co-chair Mary Knittle, Andrew Varuzzo ’15, and Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation community action forester Mollie Freilicher. Each spoke on the significance of this momentous event.
“The distinction of being recognized as a Tree Campus USA belongs not only to the College of the Holy Cross, but also to our neighbors, our community, and the City of Worcester,” stated Fr. Boroughs, S.J. He continued, “It is a symbol of our continued commitment and partnership in making College Hill and the City of Worcester a beautiful place to live and work.”
Other imperative programs at the event included the Arbor Day Foundation and the Holy Cross Physical Plant. “The event exceeded my expectations,” reflected Varuzzo. “We concluded our work one hour ahead of schedule, but we still have more planting to do for the non-Holy Cross residents who wished for trees on their properties. In the coming weeks we still have more trees to plant.”
Holy Cross already contains hundreds of tree species on campus, thus expanding a greener environment off-campus has become a priority initiative to benefit everyone. Varuzzo concluded: “The goal of this project was to bring trees to the recently deforested College Hill neighborhood as well as fulfill our obligation to the Tree Campus USA program through a community tree planting event.”