The Orion

Campus beautification should save trees, not pour concrete


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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

cedar tree that was planted more than 120 years ago was cut down Sunday between Whitney and Tehama halls. The tree was rotting from the inside-out and at risk of falling over.

Last semester, a tree fell behind Lassen  Hall, killing Pa Houa Lor, a sophomore health science major.

Three weeks ago, another one fell and crushed a bridge that countless students cross to get to their classes every day.

Just last weekend, two more rotting trees were sawed to the ground because of poor health. The trees, whose roots were cut to make room for a new sidewalk, were in danger of falling.

In the last four years, Chico State has received quite the facelift: new walkways in front of the Performing Arts Center and Physical Science Building and a brand new sidewalk next to Plumas Hall, among others.

Apparently, campus beautification comes at a much higher price than expected.

Chico State needs to refocus their campus renovation priorities. Sidewalks and promenades are pretty, but Chico State’s natural features are in need of some serious help.

When a student’s family comes to Chico to visit for a weekend, the promenade in front of the PAC is rarely on the list of sights to see.

Visitors want to see the Rose Garden and the creek that courses, or rather trickles, through campus.

Chico State’s natural beauty is what draws people to campus. It’s the the reason why many students choose Chico over other universities.

It’s this very same beauty that has become a hazard to students and faculty because of irresponsible upkeep.

Rather than focusing time, effort and money on arbitrary campus beautification projects, Chico State should invest in its natural fixtures and students’ safety.

It’s true that inspecting every tree on campus is a tall order. However, student safety has to be prioritized above beautification projects, especially when those projects are oftentimes the root of campus safety hazards.

It’s nice to see the school start to inspect trees and remove those that seem unsafe, but sawing down a a tree that is as old as this university is in no way a win.

If Chico State were to take a proactive stance on inspecting and maintaining trees then its campus could maintain its coveted natural beauty, and students wouldn’t have be constantly looking up for fear of falling branches.

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Campus beautification should save trees, not pour concrete