Arbor Day tree planting to honor John and Linda Dunn

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A decade of service to Western Michigan University by outgoing President John M. Dunn and First Lady Linda Dunn will be recognized during WMU's celebration of national Arbor Day.

The event will take place at noon Friday, April 21, near Goldsworth Valley Pond on the main campus. This will be the University's 12th consecutive observance of Arbor Day, which is nationally observed on the last Friday in April.

WMU's celebration

Eastern white pine

Members of the campus and local communities will gather on the north side of the pond for a brief program. This year, two white pines will be planted in honor of the many contributions made by the Dunns. The president, who has made sustainability a hallmark of his administration, will be at an out-of-state meeting and unable to attend.

Michigan's state tree is the white pine, and as an evergreen, it represents immortality. In addition, the white pine often is called the tree of peace, given that it symbolizes the Great Peace that united the separate Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nations.

The main speaker for 2017's Arbor Day program will be Annalisa Wilder, a WMU student from Decatur majoring in political science. She will speak about a leadership and sustainable development project she is working on with the aid of an Office for Sustainability grant she received that supports the planting of numerous trees and shrubs around the Goldsworth Valley Pond.

This year's celebration is being staged in collaboration with the Western Student Association and Students for a Sustainable Earth.

For more information about the event, contact Darrell Junkins, a grounds supervisor in WMU's landscape services, at or (269) 387-8557.

WMU's tree stewardship

Arbor Day is a component of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation's conservation and education efforts to make the world greener and, therefore, healthier. WMU is doing its part by not only systematically improving the two nature preserves it owns in Kalamazoo, but also by caring for and periodically increasing the more than 4,800 landscape trees on campus.

That commitment to forestry stewardship was recognized again in February, when the Arbor Day Foundation certified WMU as a Tree Campus USA for the ninth consecutive year. The Tree Campus program helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests as well as promotes student involvement.

WMU was one of 29 U.S. colleges and universities, and only two in Michigan, to be recognized by the Tree Campus program during its inaugural year in 2008. To retain the designation, it has to meet five standards for sustainable campus forestry and be recertified each year.

For more information about campus natural areas and trees, visit

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