Replanting a campus landmark

By Kayla Greiner

Faculty, staff and students help plant trees in the courtyard.

On Arbor Day, April 25, agronomy faculty, staff and students planted American Linden trees to restore a historic campus courtyard devastated by a tornado nine years ago.

On Sept. 8, 2005, a tornado touched down near the Science I building uprooting trees and smashing fences and windows across campus, leaving behind nearly $150,000 in damage.

Some of the uprooted trees were located in the Agronomy Courtyard and consisted of 75-year-old American Linden trees, which framed the courtyard. In an effort to rejuvenate the courtyard, professors, staff, undergraduate and graduate student clubs in the agronomy department planted eight American Linden trees in the gaps left by the tornado.

“We want to ‘fix’ the consequences of the tornado and make people of the department proud of their building,” said Marie Bourguignon, Agronomy Graduate Student Club president.

A short program included Heidi Hohmann, interim chair of the landscape architecture department, introducing the history of the campus landscape work and American Linden trees; Kendall Lamkey, chair of the agronomy department, reading a proclamation; and Jesse Randall, associate professor in natural resources and ecology management, providing advice and a tree planting demonstration. After the program, faculty and staff helped the students plant the trees.

“This was a wonderful and excellent student led project that will serve current students and future generations to enjoy this beautiful courtyard. This project was engaging for the students, faculty and staff in an effort to restore the campus heritage.” Lamkey said.

“In the landscape architecture department, we're very pleased that the agronomy students are replacing the trees as they helped define an important part of the space around the building,” said Hohmann.

The students raised funds for the project. The Iowa Crop Improvement Association funded the entire project and provided $1,200 to buy the trees. Other donations raised went to provide refreshments at the event.

The trees will provide a pleasant view and shade for students, staff and faculty who use the courtyard. They will continue to provide a place of enjoyment for future generations.

The Iowa State University Facilities, Planning and Management department has hosted an Arbor Day Planting Project every year since 2009 and campus service staff provided the tools and maintenance needed for the tree establishment.