FORT SMITH – This Arbor Day, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will host a free tree celebration at the bell tower plaza, thanks to a partnership with the Tree Campus USA Committee, and the UAFS Student Veterans Organization, Garden Club, and Green Team.

The giveaway will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 26, with more than 500 trees available for distribution to the campus and the local community. The complementary trees, donated by the Arkansas Forestry Commission, will include Northern Red Oak, Loblolly Pine and Cypress varieties, all of which can be seen in their mature form on the UAFS campus. 

“It is important to reflect on how crucial the trees are to our campus and our community,” said aid Matt Rich, grounds manager for UAFS and its contracted lawn service company, Southeast Service Corp. “Without conserving such natural beauty, our spaces for learning and growing would be less enjoyable.”

Mature trees can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, making them essential for air quality as well as natural beauty.

“We can’t emphasize enough the importance of ensuring we leave our children and grandchildren a world worthy of living in,” said Richard Schafer, President of the Student Veteran Organization at UAFS and former US Army Sgt. “By a little sweat, tears, and knowledge today, we are ensuring cleaner air for our children tomorrow.”

Members of the SVO will also be available to wrap and carry trees for visitors.

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