Teaming up for UT’s Texas Arbor Day event transforms campus creek

UT Austin's Landscape Services hosted the university's observance of Texas Arbor Day on November 1, with a planting event at the UT Orchard by Waller Creek (west side of 24th Street and San Jacinto). The event was part of ongoing stewardship efforts by UT Landscape Services to transform stretches of Waller Creek that run through campus, improving the safety, sustainability and health of this riparian ecosystem by removing invasive, overcrowded vegetation and replanting with native plant species.

The event began at 10 a.m. with an Arbor Day proclamation and short safety talk. Then student and staff volunteers, including members of FAS from multiple departments, teamed up with Landscape Services staff to plant small containers of grasses, shrubs and trees in marked locations along the creek banks.

Supervisor of Urban Forestry Jennifer Hrobar shared how team efforts led to the success of the planting event: “Our Urban Forestry staff spent many hours getting this section ready to plant. Also integral to the success of this event was the greenhouse team who grew plants and trees as well as other Landscape Services’ staff members who pitched in and assisted with planting.”

Hrobar added, “I am so proud of what our staff and fantastic volunteers accomplished as a team, and am hopeful people who visit this section of campus will appreciate the results of our efforts.”

Along with light refreshments, free trees and plants were given away to attendees, complete with expert care advice and compost tea for plants, as well as educational information on trees, native plants and gardening for pollinators and wildlife.

The event engaged the community in celebrating trees and educating attendees about the many benefits trees provide to their community. This event supports the standards of the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA program, which has designated The University of Texas at Austin a Tree Campus USA for 11 consecutive years.