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Grace Grows Closer to Tree Campus Status, Plants 12 Native Tree Species

Grace College environmental science students planted 12 new native tree species on campus on Wednesday, Dec. 7. This service-learning project will help Grace College reach its goal of becoming a Tree Campus, certified by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Led by Dr. Nate Bosch, Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams director, students in an environmental ethics class participated in settling the trees into their new homes. The plantings, which include species such as Black Gum Tupelo, Yellowwood, and American Elm, were funded by NiSource Charitable Foundation and provided by Dogwood Hills Tree Farm. The planting was also attended by Dr. John Teevan, Grace College envoy to the president, and Lilly Center staff.

The campaign to make Grace College a Tree Campus began under Teevan’s leadership as interim president of Grace College. In order to become a Tree Campus, the school must establish a campus tree advisory committee, set in place a campus tree plan, verify dedicated annual expenditures, observe Arbor Day, and create a service-learning project to engage the student body.

The campus tree advisory committee created a further goal to plant all 101 native Indiana tree species on its campus. In addition to the 12 new species, 33 native species already exist – a total of 264 individual native trees.

“Becoming certified as a Tree Campus not only beautifies our campus but is also a chance to educate our students about the importance of native trees,” explained Bosch. “I’m proud of our students and their care for the environment.”

Ryan Duckworth, a crew lead at Dogwood Hills Tree Farm and a former Grace College student under Bosch, demonstrated how to plant a tree. Students helped by filling in the dirt, packing it, and creating a “watering trough.” 

In addition to serving an environmental role, the trees are also proven to lower stress and beautify a campus. Six trees were planted within view of the Morgan Library.

“Our view has improved exponentially,” commented Tonya Fawcett, director of library services.

Although 56 species remain to be planted on campus, partners like NiSource Charitable Foundation have shown their support to reach 101 species.

“Thank you, NIPSCO,” said Teevan. “Every aspect of a community like ours needs partnerships, and to have partnerships, even with our vendors, is good.”

Learn more about environmental science programs at Grace College:      grace.edu/programs/environmental-science.

For more about the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus initiative, visit      arborday.org/programs/tree-campus-higher-education.

Tagged With: Lakes and Streams, School of Arts & Sciences