On March 29, 1878, faculty and students gathered on Mount Oread to plant over 300 hackberry, evergreen, elm, and honey locust saplings as part of the first Arbor Day celebration at KU, a special holiday called by Chancellor James Marvin . In the decades that followed more than 200 walnut and oak trees were added to what is now known as Marvin Grove, elm trees grew into a canopy over Jayhawk Boulevard, and flowering redbud and crabapple trees brightened the spring landscape.
More than a century after those first plantings, we are losing historic elements of a campus that is considered one of the most beautiful in the nation. Campus trees are being removed due to disease, storm damage and age at a rate faster than they are being replaced. Despite ongoing efforts by planning and facilities staff and generous donors, it continues to be a challenge to maintain our beloved trees.
Replant Mount Oread is an effort to bring together campus departments, student organizations, community members, and alumni to help plant trees and develop a "tree bank" to fund future tree replacement, breathing new life into our campus forest.
There is a Chinese Proverb that reads, "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now." Let's get started!