Trees: NKU’s natural educators

Construction is going on all over campus. Buildings aren’t the only things that are going up, though trees are also finding their place among the concrete and construction.

Northern Kentucky University was recently given an Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Grant of $7,990 to create an educational horticulture area. Called an arboretum, it is an area of land with trees or shrubs used for study and/or display.

The arboretum, to be located around Loch Norse Lake, was proposed by Bill Moulton, superintendent of horticulture, grounds and transportation. “My dream is to have NKU be a horticulture destination for Northern Kentucky,” he said.

According to Moulton, the area around Loch Norse will have seven different genera of trees that are not necessarily native to Kentucky. For example, there will be six different types of elms, each of a different species, and students will be able to study the similarities and differences of each, he said.

“It’ll create a very aesthetically pleasing area,” Moulton said, “as well as educational and functional for study.”

Moulton hopes that the Loch Norse Arboretum will be useful not only for NKU students but also high school students and garden clubs.

The project has already started and is to be completed by June 30, 2008. Moulton is very excited about the arboretum project, but has more plans for flora on campus.

Moulton wants to begin creating green roofs around campus. According to Moulton, the roofs would provide more oxygen to the environment as well as help with storm water drain off. He said that the green roof project is currently being investigated and is optimistic about it becoming a reality.

Moulton said he believes that all of the new green coming onto campus will not only create a more pleasing campus to look at, but also help the environment and with water absorption around campus.

“There is a continuing effort to be environmentally friendly with the construction and expansion,” Moulton said. “It’s a direction that is positive for us all.”