FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Fairmont State University Arboretum planted its roots on Monday with the planting of flowering trees in order to create a more sustainable campus.

Dr. Mike Davis, President of Fairmont State, and Ryan Williams, President of the Creative Sustainability Council, planted the first two of the 14 planned flowering trees to be planted between Prichard Hall and the Falcon Center. The Arboretum will help prevent soil erosion above Prichard Hall as the tree roots will anchor and stabilize the hillside.

“So, the trees themselves have a lot of benefits. As everybody knows, trees help with oxygen in the environment, they help sustainability and making the campus greener. What I’m really excited about is just seeing the students and everybody involved in this just serve as kind of a poster for sustainability as well to get more people inspired, more people involved. So, I’m really excited about that personally,” Williams said.

The Arboretum is one of the University’s responses to climate change. The Arboretum will engage the campus community in creating a small carbon sink. As the trees grow, they will sequester carbon in their trunks, and their root systems and soil surrounding them will also store carbon.

“You know, there’s natural beauty all around us and I think that there’s places on campus, there’s lots of places on campus where we can create more sustainable environments and environments that we will be able to enjoy in a variety of ways and I think this is a great example of it and I think it is just one example of what we’re going to do going forward,” Davis said.

The Arboretum is a collaboration of student organizations, sororities, fraternities, academic units and the President’s Office. Trees that will be planted include the Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood, Sugar Tyme Crabapple, Auer Flowering Pear, Styrax Japanese Snowbell and Seven-Son Flower.