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King's students planted hundreds of trees on campus this fall
King's students planted hundreds of trees on campus this fall
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Hundreds of Trees Planted at King’s Bring Beauty to Campus

More than 700 holes were dug out with an auger and filled with seedlings by students and volunteers last month. It was all hands on deck as planting continued over a period of a couple of weeks. This isn’t the first time the university has rallied students, faculty and staff to join together to beautify the campus and help the environment by planting trees.

It was part of an outdoor breakout session during this year’s annual Interdisciplinary Studies Conference, where students from all disciplines joined together for lectures and hands-on learning. COVID restrictions did not impact the planting session, as the trees are spaced a little over two metres apart, allowing everyone to keep safely distanced.

The planting took place along the southeast campus perimeter—an area bordering the soccer field—as part of a project to green-up the university for future generations of students. The trees border both sides of what will become a multi-use trail through the greenspace. Working with Tree Canada and Plains Midstream, native species such as white spruce, poplar, birch, pine, and dogwood were chosen for planting.

“Quality green spaces are an important feature on any university campus,” says Marketing Director Nikolas Vander Kooy, who headed up the planting project. “They bring a sense of permanence and longevity, but more importantly they make a university beautiful.”

The project builds on a legacy of naturalization. In 1997, the southeast corner of campus was established by the City as an emergency drainage area and King’s planted 30 trees and various prairie grasses at the time. Now, more than two decades later, the area has morphed into a beautiful woodland swale. Last year, hundreds of decorative trees were planted around campus as part of another campus beautification project.

“When we’re planting trees, we’re playing the long game. We’re thinking about students today and those 20 years from now and what their experience here could be like,” Vander Kooy adds.

Located along 50 Street in a mostly industrial area of Edmonton, King’s has been offering an Environmental Sciences degree as both a BA and a BSci since 1995 and has always placed a strong emphasis on protecting the environment.

The University is looking forward to seeing the impact of this project as it takes shape over the coming years. It’s a project that couldn’t have been done it without partners like Tree Canada and Plains Midstream, organizations who dedicate their time and resources to looking after the planet.

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