The historic tree planting effort took place in the university garden in front of the HP&E Arena across from the Science and Technology building.
Dr John Rudley is president of Texas Southern.
“The campus landscaping plan for the whole university is to create a kind of an oasis. I want people when they first come into contact with TSU, kind of take a breath, see how beautiful it is, pause, because you know the city can get to be very complex, and you need green space to slow people down. So that’s kind of what we want to create here at Texas Southern, a little oasis where people can relax and slow down.”
The trees and shrubs came courtesy of Barry Ward and Trees for Houston.
“We have bottle brush here, which are great pollinator attractors. We’ve got some gorgeous native redbuds, and we’ve some evergreen cypress here. So you’ve got a nice mix of stuff that’ll stay green year round, along with some deciduous. You’ll have flowering stuff, non-flowering — you’ve got a really nice mix here that’ll keep this an attractive site all year long.”
Daryl Bunch oversees the university’s building and grounds department. He says the new addition creates an impression to people arriving on campus for the first time.
“This is more or less our front door to the university, and there are going to be several beautification projects that are going to actually make it more of a front door for us. Being in the heart of Third Ward, we have several entries to campus, but nothing that’s really a signature entrance, and that’s what we’re kinda creating here.”
Though Earth Day may now be synonymous with small-scale tree planting and volunteer cleanup projects, it led to public support for the creation of the EPA, and contributed to the passage of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species acts.