Indiana celebrated Arbor Day Friday.
It’s a time to encourage responsible tree planting and recognize the Hoosier communities that excel at urban forestry.
Indiana State University has emerged as a leader in this area.
For the last eight years in a row, ISU has been a part of Tree Campus USA. They were the first campus in the state of Indiana to become certified in 2008.
ISU Landscape and Grounds Manager Stephanie Krull says,”our ground staff of about 20 people are working hard and we’re enjoying the fruits of all those labors of turning sandy urban soil into rich usable good growing soil.”
Krull has been the landscape and grounds manager for 10 years now. Although going green doesn’t happen over night, the changes she’s seen in her time on campus have been substantial.
“ISU was very urban. It was very much like warehouse buildings and parking lots and streets before they started improving and expanding the campus about 30 years ago. We’re finally now to a place where it’s very green oasis.”
They have about 2,500 trees on the main campus.
Taking care of those trees requires a lot of time, attention, and expertise. That’s something that ISU Grounds Technician Supervisor Aaron Chansey knows a lot about.
“I’ve been through a lot of other campuses and they don’t look [anything] like ours. I mean the upkeep of ours is a lot astronomically better than campuses that I’ve been to,” says Chansey.
For a school whose mascot is the Sycamores, and a student section called “The Forest,” Krull says that not many students even know much about their garden campus. That’s something she’s hoping to change through publicity and community events.
Tomorrow they will be planting 150 sycamores in historically significant locations all over the state.