New bur oak tree planted in Centre’s Old Quad
Members of the Centre community recently came together to plant a bur oak sapling as a sign of the College’s commitment to remaining an urban forest for decades to come.
The bur oak, cultivated and hand-grown by Ed and Judy Stanley of Stanley Professional Tree Service, was planted near Nevin Hall in the Old Quadrangle.
At the planting ceremony, Preston Miles, Walkup Professor of Chemistry, spoke about how trees on Centre’s campus and throughout Danville have played an important role for hundreds of years—using the example of the English elm tree on Main Street near Old Centre that was planted intentionally hundreds of years ago.
“I wanted to take you back to that big old elm tree, which is 100 to 200 years old. The people who came to this area and laid this town out had a different idea than you and I do—they were coming out here to the wilderness in the 1770s or 1780s. And what did they do shortly after they laid the town out? They planted that old elm tree,” Miles said. “They planted it because this is the urban forest. We have the impulse to restore the tree as an orientation symbol. In fifty years, that elm on Main Street may not be here—but in fifty years, this burr oak will stand as a symbol for this city.”
Centre is deliberate about its dedication to maintaining the urban forest on campus. Centre was recently named a 2013 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. The College has now received the honor for three years in a row. Planting new trees is a requirement of Tree Campus USA schools, among other responsibilities.
Earlier this year, trustee David Grissom and his wife, Marlene, made a gift of $500,000 to create the Susie Roush Campus Beautification Fund in honor of Roush to enhance Centre’s landscaping—and with the particular goal of acquiring and maintaining deciduous trees throughout campus.
Three American Beech saplings, donated to the College by Grissom, were planted in front of Young Hall last year to replace the beloved American Beech tree that stood there for decades until its death in 2011. Trees were planted in front of the Guest Cottage in 2011 to replace a dogwood lost in the ice storm of 2009, and in 2012, trees were also planted to replace those similarly lost along St. Mildred’s Court.
To read more about Centre’s dedication to environmental responsibility, visit the Sustainable Centre webpage.
By Elizabeth Trollinger