‘Tree Campus’ gets new addition

Aaron Kinney

Gregg Floyd, vice president for finance and administration, accepted the Arbor Day Foundation’s award outside Stopher Hall yesterday. Floyd accepted the award, but he said the credit goes to Heather White, the grounds manager of Campus Environment and Operations.


White, a self-proclaimed “tree geek,” said she remains committed to maintaining the greenery on campus. Yesterday, her department placed “price tags” on several trees that indicated how much money they saved the campus based on storm water management, heating and cooling.


“The back (of the tag) totals up all 14 of the trees over 10 years, and we’re looking at about $15,000,” White said. One particular tree, a red maple by Olson Hall, is projected to save the campus $2,200 over that time.


Kent State was one of the original tree campuses recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation. While fewer than 20 colleges were recognized in the program’s first year, around 70 have been certified this year.


“I thought that we would easily make it as one of the tree campuses, and I don’t know if it was easy or not, but we did get certified in our first year,” White said.


“The easiest part, I think, for this campus is the expenditures,” White said, citing the campus’s tree-pruning summer program and preservation of trees around construction areas. “We spend a lot taking care of our trees.”


Floyd said keeping the greenery on the grounds in good condition has been a priority for him, but it wouldn’t be possible without the grounds crew White leads.


White said her department is always looking for ways to get others involved, students in particular.


“Last year, we got the Child Development Center involved,” White said. “The year before that it was biology.”


Even residence halls are getting involved. Stopher Hall won the campus’s recycling competitions for both this year and last. Because of that, the students won a new tree, which they planted yesterday during the ceremony.


White aims to continue maintenance and improvement of the campus’s greenery for as long as she works here.


“I hope as long as I’m here that we’re certified,” White said. “I want to fill up the plaque and have them send me a new one.”


Contact buildings and grounds reporter Aaron Kinney at [email protected].