It might be a stretch to compare the Medical University of South Carolina’s tree planting plans to the proverbial Tree of Life.
But the stretch isn’t altogether beyond the pale.
In describing the medical school’s plans to plant diverse, native trees on the urban campus, MUSC arborist Nash Dubosh said trees promote good health. People are drawn outside to the fresh air when they can find shade. Trees help anxious people relax and inspire others to get more exercise.
Thus the Tree of Life — or at least the Tree of Healthier Life.
Also, part of MUSC’s plans involve a medicinal garden containing plant material that scientists in the 19th century believed to have healing powers.
Some of those beliefs were dispelled. Some have held true. Plaques will tell people which are which.
The third part of the university’s plan is to grow vegetables and other plants. Cooking and educational demonstrations will be offered in a small pavilion near the garden.
We all know for certain that trees and vegetation can be beautiful. And sometimes patients, their families and their caregivers who have been focusing on charts and bandages and blood pressure cuffs need something pleasant to look at — or to do. Some will be given the chance to tend the garden.
MUSC’s goal is to join Clemson, Furman, USC-Columbia and USC-Upstate as a Tree Campus USA, designated by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The city of Charleston has been designated a Tree City USA community, thanks to the city’s goal of planting 10,000 trees and thanks also to the non-profit Charleston Trees that looks for opportunities to plant trees throughout the city.
Patient care and medical education require attention to details large and small. MUSC is to be commended for its impressive buildings, high-tech medical equipment and well-trained staff, and now for its campus arbor.
Its ambitious tree-planting program will be a life-enhancing project.