St. Mary’s Lives Up to “Tree Campus USA” Title by Planting More Trees

Living up to St. Mary’s College’s recent approval as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, Lesley Urgo, a member of St. Mary’s Arboretum Association, along with 21 students and community members planted 19 trees around campus on Thursday, Nov. 10.

According to L. Urgo, the group broke up into three teams for about an hour to plant one Sour Wood, five Crab Apple, six Sugar Maple, and seven Linden trees. All are native to the area and were planted around the Michael P. O’Brien Athletic and Recreation Center (ARC), Goodpaster Hall, Schaefer, and Calvert Halls, and Waring Commons (WC).

Although the original plan was to plant 29, the grounds crew will plant the remaining ten trees over Thanksgiving break when the cars clear out of Parking Lot R located near WC, where the unplanted trees currently reside.

“We had a good turnout. The rain held out, and we got everything done we wanted to,” Urgo said.

Urgo also claimed that besides adding to the campus, the tree planting is also about the environment. “There’s more to it than being beautiful, we try to be smart, we try to be environmentally sound,” she said. “Every spring and every fall we hope to have some event much like this.”

Urgo also urges the importance of student involvement in the association. “If students get involved [with the Arboretum Association], it shows they care about their campus and community,” she said.

She noted that planning has already begun for a student project in the spring, which involves planting fruit-bearing apple trees on the site of the old campus farm.

For more information about the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association, contact Lesley Urgo via email at, or visit the Arboretum webpage on For more information on Tree Campus USA, visit

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