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College named Tree Campus

By Sam Hoefler
On February 23, 2017

Kirkwood Community College Arborist Brett Eilers prunes trees on the main campus near the tennis courts in preparation for spring. Photo by Jeff Sigmund.

For the sixth year in a row, Kirkwood Community College has been named a Tree Campus by Tree Campus USA. The college is just one of only five colleges in Iowa to earn this honor and the only community college, according to arborday.org.

Tree Campus USA is a national program by the Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes nature conservation and education. Tree Campus USA has five standards which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.

According to Brett Eilers, Kirkwood’s arborist, this is something they work constantly at to achieve. He said typically, as part of the recertification process for Tree Campus USA, Kirkwood will do projects on campus either with horticulture students or students from the local high schools. Last year two projects were completed, one with the horticulture students and another with students from Cedar Rapids Prairie Alternative High School.

Eilers said students involved in the projects plant a variety of trees in different areas around campus, which allows the students to learn proper techniques. 

According to Eilers, Kirkwood was one of the first community colleges in the nation to earn this achievement so it means a lot not only to the Grounds staff but to Kirkwood as well. 

In Iowa, Kirkwood shares the title of Tree Campus along with Clarke University, Drake University, Iowa State University and The University of Iowa.

 

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