Fellows, Landscape Services celebrate Mandela Day

Fellows, Landscape Services celebrate Mandela Day

Mandela Washington Fellows plant a London Planetree on East Campus during a July 18 International Nelson Mandela Day ceremony.
Troy Fedderson | University Communication
Mandela Washington Fellows plant a London Planetree on East Campus during a July 18 International Nelson Mandela Day ceremony.

Between chants of "Go Big Red" and a final ceremonial song, 25 Mandela Washington Fellows celebrated the legacy of Nelson Mandela with a July 18 tree planting at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Landscape Services also buried a time capsule as part of the July 18 planting. The capsule contains a document outlining the historical significance of the tree. The document was also signed by the Mandela Washington Fellows.

Working with Landscape Services, the fellows planted a London Planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) on the north side of the Animal Science Complex. The arbor is also called a Mandela tree, a name which honors the time the former South African president planted a London Planetree in London's St. James Park on July 10, 1996.

The East Campus planting was held in accordance with Nelson Mandela International Day, which commemorates the lifetime of service Mandela gave to Africa and the world. The annual observance is held July 18, which is Mandela's birthday. Mandela, who died Dec. 5, 2013, would have been 99.

Vincent Kumwenda (left) places the time capsule next to the roots of the London Planetree as Nebraska's Laurence Ballard uses a shovel to hold back soil.

The arbor was grown by Laurence Ballard, nursery director for Landscape Services, in the East Campus tree nursery.

Nebraska is one of 38 sites selected to host Mandela Washington Fellows. The participants are young professionals, between the ages of 25 and 35, from sub-Saharan Africa. The fellows are spending six weeks at the university, participating in civil leadership activities. Read more about the Mandela Washington Fellows in Nebraska Today.




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