At 10 a.m. on Saturday March 26, The Arboretum Association had a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the Arboretum at St. Mary’s. The ribbon was tied around the willow oak that stands between Calvert and Kent Hall and was cut by Lesley Urgo, a leader in the Association.
Of the people who spoke before the ribbon cutting, many emphasized what they thought the Arboretum meant for the St. Mary’s Community. Dr. Kevin Fletcher, an executive director from Audubon International, said, “St. Mary’s College has established a neat sense of space, blending ecological consciousness with grounds management,” He also encouraged all people in the community to become, “better stewards of the environment.”
However, the St. Mary’s arboretum is not just about becoming more environmentally friendly, it also plays a major part in keeping the campus beautiful. Lesley Urgo said that at the minimum the Arboretum could help “people see and respect the world around them,” with the hope that they would think the world is, “worth preserving, improving, and sharing.”
After these speeches Lesley Urgo cut the ribbon around the Willow Oak. As a joke the group celebrated the launch of the Arboretum by breaking a Champaign bottle against the tree as well.
The speakers and those who were there to listen then moved to the opposite side of Calvert Hall in order to plant a white oak as a way to celebrate and remember the formal beginning of the association.
The celebration of the Arboretum Association was one of many events that celebrated the Inauguration of President Joseph Urgo and one of two that specifically promoted being environmental stewards. While not many students went to the event, approximately six, there were many members of the Board of Trustees as well as other staff who wanted to show their support for the Arboretum.
The Arboretum currently has a walking map around campus that can direct people around to specific trees and groves. The organization’s website is: http://www.smcm.edu/aboretum/.