By Sam Weston
Loraxes and squirrels beware: trees are coming down at Clackamas Community College.
Oregon is famous for its trees and CCC is no different in providing the same atmosphere for its students, but some are getting the eviction notice on campus. The school is currently executing plans to remove dozens of trees around campus for construction and renovation projects over the summer. Some plans have been completed but there are more to come.
So being an environmentally friendly campus, what gives? Why the trees?
In an email sent out to CCC staff, Dean of Campus Services Bob Cochran included the full plan. There are five areas around campus that are being planned for tree removal: Dye Learning Center, Family Resource Center, Environmental Learning Center, DeJardin/Pauling Science Complex and the largest area being hit is the Barlow parking lot for the Industrial Technical Center construction project happening in the near future.
“We have a very vibrant culture here on campus with trees and we want to save as many as possible,” said Cochran. “So we don’t take removal of trees lightly, but sometimes if the trees are either in the way of a construction project or they’re a safety concern, like the Dye project or if they’re diseased, (it) will cause a problem if we don’t remove them.”
When asked about the safety concern around the Dye Learning Center, Cochran said that an unknown individual had been using the trees for shelter and food storage. Head of Campus Safety Pete Kandratieff stated that they were the ones that found the individual.
“We made the suggestion and campus services did an assessment,” said Kandratieff. He also confirmed it was an isolated incident.
The Dye Learning Center trees have been removed and the Family Resource Center and DeJardin/Pauling Science Complex will be completed within the next week. The ITC/Barlow removal will begin later this month in preparation to the building’s construction and the ELC project will take place in the summer.
With all of the removal, however, much of the trees in the Barlow parking lot and around the new ITC will be replanted. Campus services has consulted with many arborists about the project. Horticulture instructor Rodney Walters gave insight into what an arborist does for these kinds of projects.
“The purpose of an arborist is to inform, educate and provide options for meeting client objectives,” said Walters. “They do a wide range of things from plant health care to tree diagnostics, risk assessment, mapping, sales, supervision and removals as well.”
With all the steps being taken to ensure the tree culture on campus remains in tact, we can see this is only a small price. Many trees will be replanted after the projects are finished and some of the cut down trees will be used for an amphitheater and bridge decking project in the near future
So to any squirrels being affected, don’t worry, there are plenty more trees on campus that are here to stay.