Dr. Barry Johnson, Ph.D., and four volunteers celebrated both Earth Day and Barry's successful thesis defense by planting five new trees on Wayne State's campus on April 22nd. The trees were purchased from the Greening of Detroit with donations in Barry's honor from History Graduate Students' Association members, and included maples, a sweetgum, and a tulip tree. Digging holes for the trees took about two hours, and involved pickaxe work to displace construction rubble, bricks, concrete, and even a layer of asphalt hidden under the lush grass. "It's urban planning, and you never know what you will find, but there's always something," Barry said, adding that he never worries if planting is more difficult than expected. "The tree is going to be there for a good long time, so there's no point in digging the hole in a hurry."
This is the fifth time he has planted trees on Wayne State grounds; he has planted or assisted in planting thousands of trees in the city as part of Greening's nonprofit efforts.