Green Penguins with Wet Feathers

Tree planting 11-06-13

Environmental Biology students take a break before planting a Chinese Pistache in Scarpelli Circle to smile with Instructional and Classroom Support Technician Tim Carper, who organizes the annual tree planting at Clark.

As Kermit the Frog once sang, it’s not easy being green. Admittedly, Kermit probably wasn’t talking about shoveling dirt in a cold, quintessentially Pacific Northwest drizzle. But members of the Clark College and greater Vancouver community banded together on November 6 to do just that during the college’s annual tree planting. These plantings help maintain the main campus’s arboretum, as well as its status as a Tree Campus USA.

The group that gathered under rainy skies to plant trees included students from Clark’s Environmental Biology class; members of the Clark College Environmental Club; participants in the Washington Conservation Corps; members of the college’s Tree Advisory Committee; and representatives from Vancouver’s Urban Forestry. Staff from Clark College Facilities Services also assisted in the project.

Tree planting 11-06-13

Volunteers clear Scarpelli Circle of non-native plants and prepare it for having a new tree planted in its center.

The group planted four trees. Two of them–an American Yellowwood and a Chinese Pistache–were donated by Urban Forestry and are new species to the arboretum. The group also planted a Knobcone Pine; this tree was actually an offshoot from an older tree on campus that died and was removed. “So technically, it is a new tree to campus as well, because the parent tree had died and been removed from the inventory,” said Instructional and Classroom Support Technician Tim Carper, who has organized the tree planting and Tree Campus USA activities at Clark for the past four years.

Carper noted that the Yellowwood and Pistache weren’t just new species to the campus–they were entirely new genera. “We are very close to having trees representing every genus that will reasonably grow in our climate and is available to us,” he said. “That has been kind of the guideline for adding to the arboretum.”

The fourth tree, a Snake-Bark Maple with colorful leaves and bark, was appropriately enough planted near Frost Arts Center.

 Photos: Clark College/Hannah Erickson