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Kirkwood campus branches out

Kirkwood Community College earns Tree Campus USA award

By Amanda Enos, Ziadah Ziad
On April 29, 2016

Kirkwood Community College has been selected as a Tree Campus USA for the fifth year in a row. Kirkwood is one out of 17 in the nation and the second community college in Iowa that earned this recognition. Tree Campus is a national program by the Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes nature conservation and education. 

“It is a foundation brought up for trees and urban forest. They really push towards teaching people about trees and their value to society. Among the great values include carbon pick up and water purification,” said Brett Eilers, Kirkwood aborist. 

According to Kirkwood’s website, the Arbor Day Foundation has invested more than $36.8 million in campus forest management last year. 

It has helped the campuses and universities in across the country in planting and maintaining the trees through its program. Eilers said Kirkwood plants 60 to 70 trees in a year. He added that currently there are 5,000 trees in the Kirkwood inventory and in natural areas around the main campus. 

“Campus is very large. I think we have over 700 acres that we take care of. We all have our designated areas. I am basically on trees and large shrubs. We have somebody who take cares of Annuals and Perennials also,” said Eilers.

To make the work more efficient, Eilers said Kirkwood also has a tree committee that meets twice a year for planning. This planning covers tree programs and treatments for certain types of trees. Kirkwood also tries to keep their trees diverse. Various types of oak, maples and pines are easily spotted on the main campus.  

Actively cooperating with agriculture departments and other departments around campus in environmental events and projects has allowed Kirkwood to earn this Tree Campus recognition. 

“We applied to become a Tree Campus USA because we thought it is important. We have great value for our urban forest around here,” said Eilers. 


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