USC Upstate to Host Annual Arbor Day Celebration

December 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm

The University of South Carolina Upstate will host its annual Arbor Day celebration with First Lady Tressa Kelly, Ph.D., and a program that will feature Jane Allen Nodine, director of the USC Upstate Gallery and award-winning horticulturist and author Bob Polomski. The event, open to the public free of charge, will be held on Friday, December 7, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Olin B. Sansbury, Jr. Campus Life Center.

“USC Upstate’s campus is home to more than 2,500 inventoried trees, which when fully mature will provide a tree canopy to 60 percent of campus,” said Dr. Kelly. “As First Lady, I am honored to lead recognition of the initiatives that support our designation as a Tree Campus USA. We are fortunate to be able to offer education excellence in such a beautiful setting.”

Adding to the beauty of the Upstate campus is a living collection of eighteen sculptures, many of which are part of the university’s permanent collection. Nodine established the outdoor collection in 1996.

“I have been very pleased to see the collection thrive and serve not only the campus community but also regional visitors who can see it 24/7 with easy access from the I-85 and I-26 corridor,” said Nodine. “I look forward to expanding the collection and gaining recognition for USC Upstate as a major sculpture venue in the Southeast.”

Bob Polomski will serve as keynote speaker for the day. A horticulturist and author with extension and teaching responsibilities at Clemson University, Polomski served as state coordinator of the Master Gardener program from 1990 to 2006. For more than 25 years, he has educated commercial and consumer audiences on a wide range of topics through print and broadcast media, as well as online. He has published his research in scientific journals and authored a variety of articles in print and digital magazines. With a broad interest in “all things plants,” Polomski’s current horticultural/arboricultural pursuits include the study of urban tree growth and longevity, and identifying, evaluating, and promoting plants that provide aesthetic and ecological benefits to landscapes and streetscapes.

This year marks the 10th consecutive year that USC Upstate has been named a Tree Campus USA by the national Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. USC Upstate was the first public university in South Carolina to achieve the honor, and is one of just six universities in the state to hold the designation.

An optional walking tour of the USC Upstate campus will begin at 10:00 a.m. on December 7, prior to the Arbor Day program. To RSVP, visit