By Lofton Wheeles
For the Opelika Observer
The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Science, the city of Auburn and Land & Trees Unlimited will be hosting their Hoops for Trees event at Sam Harris Park this Friday afternoon.
Those who come to the event will participate in a game of H-O-R-S-E and will plant a tree once eliminated from the game, according to a press release from the city of Auburn.
“My plan is [to] invite the students to join us in a friendly competition between the groups (Forestry Club, Natural Resources Management, MANRRS and Wildlife, Sustainable Biomaterials),” said Denise Cole, director at the Auburn University Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface Outreach. “We will play the game H-O-R-S-E except we will spell out T-R-E-E since we are tree people … We [will] all eventually end up planting the trees for a great hands-on learning experience.”
The event is also a new idea to bring people together to have a fun time while planting a tree, a goal that is imperative to Cole, she said.
“Well last year, we had an event just like this and it was [called] First Down for Trees and we used football players when we did it,” Cole said. “So, the idea is I’m always looking for fun things to do.”
The event is also a good opportunity to help students learn more about tree planting and to help students find future opportunities.
“Our goal here is to help the students to get practical tree planting experience as we grow the next generation of urban foresters, arborists, horticulturists and natural resource professionals,” Cole said. “Also, this is a good way for the students to network with the organizations that will be there for jobs and interns.”
The green initiative’s goal is to improve water quality, increase urban forest canopy and provide numerous social, environment and economic benefits throughout the city of Auburn and other high school campuses across Alabama, according to the press release.
The event will take place at Sam Harris Park on Friday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. For more information, contact Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.