Four trees were snapped over Homecoming weekend near the Liquid Crystal Institute, contributing to what Grounds Manager Heather White called a “senseless” problem.
All but one of the sugar maples that line the sidewalk connecting the C-Science lot and Liquid Crystal Institute have been knocked over during this semester, White said.
“It still boggles my mind,” she said. “You’re not even giving (them) a chance to contribute to campus.”
The scenery at Kent State is important because it screens the view of campus from the street, buffers noise, helps eliminate pollution and adds to a “sense of community,” White said.
The destroyed sugar maples, which should have lasted between 20 to 30 years, spent more time in the nursery than in the ground at Kent State, she said. They are colorful trees that stand out when the seasons change.
“For fall color, the sugar maple is one of the outstanding trees,” White said.
Undergraduate Student Trustee Aimee Huter called the vandalism “especially disturbing.”
“I am a horticulture person,” she said. “I can’t believe they did this.”
Senior conservation major Erin Lowe said she was disgusted to find out that the damage was caused by people.
“I think it’s pretty stupid,” Lowe said. “A little sapling is not that big of a challenge.”
Since the tiny trees seem to be targeted the most, White said she is considering planting more mature and expensive trees. Nevertheless, she said if people are determined enough, the size of trees wont stop vandalism.
According to the Kent State police department, large branches were snapped off trees near Rockwell Hall during the same weekend the sugar maples were vandalized.
White said she believes it is the same people who are committing the crime. She joked that since these people are spending their nights out vandalizing and not studying, then maybe they won’t be here next semester.
In an effort to end the vandalism, White said police are doing more patrols. Also, staff and faculty are being notified to tell police whenever they notice any damage to landscaping.
Contact building and grounds reporter Kevin Kolus at [email protected]