WOOSTER, Ohio — As director of grounds at The College of Wooster, Beau Mastrine is able to see the forest and the trees. His unique vision, along with the tireless efforts of his crew, has further enhanced an already beautiful landscape, and prompted the National Arbor Day Foundation to designate the College as a “Tree Campus USA.” Wooster will celebrate the honor with a ceremonial tree planting, a tree walk, and a variety of other activities on Homecoming Weekend (Sept. 21-23).
“It’s another way that the College has set itself apart,” said Mastrine. “There are currently just eight schools in Ohio who have earned this designation. It is something that all of us can be proud of.”
The festivities begin at noon with the planting of a tree in front of Holden Hall, followed by a tailgate lunch at Lowry Center where members of the campus grounds crew will be available to answer questions. Informational tables and maps will be also available for the campus walk, which will follow a general route from Holden to Lowry, down Memorial Walkway toward Kenarden Hall, through the Oak Grove, around Kauke Hall, south on the Academic Mall, north on Beall Avenue, and back to Holden.
There will also be a tree maintenance display featuring some of the department’s tools, and a station showcasing the City of Wooster’s urban forest. In addition, Zuk’s Tree Moving Service will have a display in back of Kenarden, where it will explain the process of transplanting large trees.
Other exhibits include the geology department’s tree-ring lab, featuring a list of publications that showcase the College’s tree ring data, as well as publications that detail research conducted at the Secrest Arboretum. Also, the environmental studies department will have a station on the Academic Mall near Kauke Hall where “tree journals,” carefully assembled by Professor Matt Mariola’s environmental studies class, will be displayed.
Support for the event helps the College fulfill part of the USA Tree Campus standards of creating public awareness of urban forests, according to Mastrine. “This promotion of tree health and sustainability is a way to display and encourage the interconnectedness of the college, the city, and the state.”
Wooster’s selection as a “Tree Campus USA” was based on five criteria: (1) the formation of a campus tree advisory committee; (2) the development of a campus tree care plan; (3) the management of a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures; (4) the observance of Arbor Day; and (5) the incorporation of a service-learning project. Satisfying these stipulations includes involvement from not only the campus grounds staff, but also the students, the administration, and the community at large.
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