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Ag Students Celebrate Arbor Day by Providing Service

Thursday, May. 03, 2012

USU students working during Arbor Day

As part of a class project, students prepare to plant a native species on the south face of Old Main Hill. The service project was a part of Arbor Day activities.

USU students working during Arbor Day on Old Main hill

Working on a steep incline and the roadway below, students planted a variety of native plants, integrating them into the current design. Native plants tend to fair better in the harsher Cache Valley climate.

In recognition of Arbor Day, 24 students in the Plant, Soils and Climate Department at Utah State University planted native plants on the south hillside of Old Main. The event was part of a service learning project for Larry Rupp’s Landscape Management Principles and Practices class.

Rupp, professor of ornamental horticulture and extension specialist, used the project as a means of teaching the students about plant research, landscape water conservation and native plant design integration.

“Native plants are less common than traditional plants used in the landscape industry, said Rupp. “This was more of a challenge for the students.”

The students learned the importance of planting, selecting and adapting diverse species of plants.

For the class, Rupp and his students also partnered with operations and facilities on landscape projects where native plants were integrated into current design as they tend to fair better in the harsher Cache Valley climate.

Besides learning about native plants, Rupp feels it is also important for his students to learn the value of giving back to their community.

“It was good to get out there and engage the students in doing something good for the community and for USU,” said Rupp.

Those interested in learning more about native plants can visit the Utah Botanical Center website, or contact Larry Rupp,

Writer: Sarah Hatch, PR assistant, College of Agriculture, 435-797-7406,

Contact: Larry Rupp, professor,Plants, Soils and Climate, 435-797-2099,

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