Monday, December 4, 2017

Parris Powers Memorial Arboretum is Now Official

Vol State officially has an arboretum.  What's an arboretum? “It is a place with an exhibit of trees and other plants for display or scientific study. An arboretum is a single site or place, whereas arboreta, the Latin plural, refers to several sites or places.” That comes from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC).
There are 62 trees on campus that have been identified and certified as a level II arboretum by the TUFC. It’s thanks to the work of Vol State alum Cynthia Hernandez and Math and Science faculty, including Le-Ellen Dayhuff. It’s named for former Vol State Chemistry Professor Parris Powers, who was not only an inspiration to students, but had a great love for the environment.
What is the point of a certified arboretum? TUFC says: “A certified arboretum must be open to the public with trees that are labeled, properly protected, and well maintained.” And that’s really the point- the tree labels are designed for education. If you step outside of the Ramer building you will see several trees on the Nashville Pike side of the building with silver name tags. If you didn’t know what a Black Gum tree looked like…now you do. The plan is to have even better signage identifying the trees and then some sort of Internet link so people can find out more about that type of tree. You could walk around campus and learn about trees as you go.
There will be a public event announcing the Parris Power Memorial Arboretum on Arbor Day, Friday, April 27, 2018.
Congrats again to Cynthia and Le-Ellen for the certification.


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