Beautification project brings new additions to campus

East Texan Photo | Joseph Miller

By Joseph Miller | Staff Reporter

Thirteen new trees add to the subtle beautification project going on around the campus of A&M-Commerce.

The additions have pushed the total number of trees around the university to over 1,400, and there are plans to continue expanding the numbers.

“This was phase one; phase two is probably going to take place around this time next year.” Director of Safety and Risk Management, Derek Preas, said. “The best time to plant trees is during the cold spell.”

Preas said that there are plans to modify the irrigation system so that trees can be planted in other areas off the walking paths. In addition to trees being added, the aging cedar trees along the walking mall in front of the Journalism and Computer Science Building running down to the library have been swapped out with new trees. The metal grating was removed and the trees were cut down and replaced with crepe myrtle trees.

“The trees had grown up into the grating,” Preas said. “The grates were literally choking the trees. One of them was hollow on the inside.”

The removal of the grating has been noticed by students, but the replacement trees have been largely unnoticed.

Some students, like senior Preston Chapman, caught some of the process.

“I saw them doing some of the work, pulling out the grates and trees. I didn’t see them putting trees in though,” Chapman said.

Other students, like Ben Daniel, had not noticed.

“I didn’t notice that, now I have to go see,” Daniel said.

While the trees may have been going unnoticed, students will begin see a marked difference as the summer draws closer.

The crepe myrtle will begin to bloom near summertime with blossoms that range in color from deep purple to red and white and different shades in between.

Brandon Bussey, senior, said that he hadn’t noticed the trees, but has noticed the campus looking better since he started attending TAMUC.

“When you look at the campus and at pictures, you can see it. I think they are doing a good job,” Bussey said.

Besides adding trees, some students suggest that the university add other items to improve the overall appearance.

“The campus looks good, but things could always be improved. A fountain in the middle of campus would be cool or more benches,” Daniel said.

It is clear effort has been made to increase the visual appeal of TAMUC. Some changes may fall on a blind eye, but the overall work is noticed.

“You can see the work that the school is putting in. There are nice trees for shade and pretty areas to hang out, study or read,” Chapman said.