Gift of Holly Trees to Ivy Tech – Wabash Valley Involves Many Partners in Beautification Project

WABASH VALLEY – Ivy Tech Community College – Wabash Valley Ag Club students, Ivy Tech facilities staff and Indiana State University facilities staff teamed up on November 22 to dig up and move 12 holly trees from the tree nursery on the ISU campus to the Ivy Tech campus. The trees are now at the entrance of Ivy Tech on Jessica Drive, on the east end of the bridge on 8000 South Education Drive and at the Center for Workforce Development.

The trees are a gift from Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA), an organization recognized by the Holly Society of America. FOTA has been working since 2003 to expand the use of holly trees. Since then more than 130 trees have been planted, and it is their hope that Terre Haute will be known as Indiana’s City of Hollies.

The holly tree project at Ivy Tech was set in motion by FOTA needing to create more space at the ISU tree nursery where it has maintained more than 150 trees in various stages of growth. The donated trees are each eight to 10 feet tall, which made it necessary for several groups to work together to complete the transplant in one day. The tasks broke down as follows: eight Ivy Tech Ag Club students and the Agriculture program chair assisted in digging trees and planting them; Ivy Tech facilities staff provided a truck and trailer for transport; and ISU facilities staff provided a tree spade to dig and load the trees.

John Rosene, chair of the agriculture program, explained the significance of the gift and the coordination required to plant such large trees in a short time. He said, “This project taught my students many things – the power of cooperation and how community service enriches us all, as well as the technical skills required for moving and planting large trees. We are grateful to FOTA for this experience and also for the generous donation of holly trees, which will provide beauty in the summer and color in the winter to our campus.”

The holly tree is a broad leaf evergreen tree that produces red berries in the winter. Holly berries provide food for many birds and animals. For most of us, holly leaves are associated with decorating our homes and tables during the Christmas season. The trees are a beautiful addition to the landscape in all seasons.

The Clark-Landsbaum Deming Park Holly Arboretum was founded in 1992 by William F. Clark, a registered pharmacist and business owner who died in 2008, and his wife Marilyn. It is the only holly arboretum in a public park, and is one of only 18 arboretums in the United States recognized as an “Official Holly Arboretum” by the Holly Society of America. Today there are more than 400 hollies in the arboretum at Deming Park.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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