Oklahoma City University is now home to a unique native Oklahoma tree arboretum thanks to a gift of trees from the Tree Bank Foundation, as well as donations of landscaping trees from Chesapeake Energy through the Tree Bank Foundation’s Campus Trees Program. In addition to offering educational opportunities for students, the trees are intended to help alleviate urban environmental concerns and enhance campus air quality.
OCU’s Native Tree Arboretum, funded through private donations to the Tree Bank Foundation, houses 40 trees from across the state — evergreens from southeast Oklahoma, oaks from central Oklahoma and elms from western Oklahoma. The trees will be labeled, providing an ongoing educational opportunity not only for OCU students but also for tree enthusiasts throughout the state. The arboretum is located north of the Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.
“Chesapeake has a strong commitment to Oklahoma colleges and universities, and we show our support in many ways,” said Teresa Rose, director of community relations at Chesapeake. “By helping to provide trees to Oklahoma City University, we can improve students’ education while enhancing the environment and beauty of the campus.”
Through the Tree Bank Foundation’s Campus Trees Program, OCU received 61 trees to plant as part of its master landscaping plan. Each Oklahoma-grown tree was of substantial size to allow for easy establishment. In addition to the trees, Chesapeake provided “gatorbags,” portable irrigation devices to water the trees while saving resources.
“These donations are an excellent opportunity to increase the learning potential of the campus while exposing students to urban tree planting at the same time,” said Cathy Leichter of the Tree Bank Foundation board of directors.