Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why Trees Matter to the Lorax—and You!

We know a thing or two about trees here at OARDC's Wooster campus.

And like the Lorax, our researchers are well-versed in speaking for the trees. Our version of the Lorax goes by the name of Ken Cochran, and he's the curator for our 88-acre Secrest Arboretum.

The arboretum has been an integral part of our campus and community for over 100 years, but it's landscape was forever changed when it was hit head-on by a devastating tornado in September 2010 that took out over 1,200 of the arboretum's trees. Since that time, Ken has worked with his plants and countless volunteers to replan and replant Secrest Arboretum. And our researchers are able to assess the impact this loss will have on the arboretum's environment. A portion of the damaged area of the arboretum is even being left intact to regenerate naturally.

But this loss has reiterated to our campus and community that yes, trees do matter! Here's what Ken has to say about it on the Secrest website:

Trees have a powerful impact on outdoor space and in human well-being. Trees draw upon our senses as a natural resource, while scenic beauty and trees add value to our landscapes through the environmental services they provide. Urban parks and greenways, academic, business and industrial campuses and residential gardens are corridors linking up to the natural world and enhancing the whole ecosystem. Why do trees matter in your life? 

The Why Trees Matter Program is one of Ohio State University Extension’s six Signature Programs. It is an interdisciplinary program of the University that focuses on the economic, environmental and social benefits of trees and community forests. Using U.S. Forest Service models, it quantifies the sustainable environmental services trees provide, such as storm-water remediation, air quality benefits, energy savings, and carbon sequestration. For example, the annual value of a 12 inch diameter silver linden is $98. Why Trees Matter includes applied research plots at over 140 sites throughout Ohio communities (Ohio Street Tree Evaluation Program), tree research evaluation and extension (TREE) plots at OARDC’s Secrest Arboretum, OSUE Master Gardener 'Tree Specialist' volunteers in Ohio counties, and a diverse array of community development programs around the state. Signature Tree Program… is one of the components of the Why Trees Matter Program in cooperation with the Secrest Arboretum of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Initiated on March 11-12, 2009 in Wooster, Ohio, by OSU President E. Gordon Gee, this program is intended to increase awareness of the importance of trees for sustainable communities and to raise money for tree research at The Ohio State University. Features of the Signature Tree Program include the following: 
  • Three tree selections offered for sale each year as Signature Trees. For 2009-2010, these are Silver Linden, Scarlet Buckeye, and Pagoda Dogwood. Cost is $30.00 ea.

  • Each tree sold in 2009-2010 will include President E. Gordon Gee’s signature, along with a statement of “why trees matter” to President Gee.

  • Each tree sale will also include an explanation of the environmental services trees provide, based on the science-based i-Tree model developed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ohio-based Davey Tree Company, the largest tree care company in the world. Each tree will also have a tree care tag with proper planting and care information.

  • Signature Trees will be available for sale at selected tree planting programs and Secrest Arboretum and other OSU horticulture programs throughout the year, as well as, Ohio counties, OSUE 4-H camps, and other events. Proceeds will be placed in an OSU Development Account for tree research at OSU.
Please support of tree research at The Ohio State University, through the purchase of Signature Trees. Let Signature Trees be a symbol of 'Why Trees Matter' in your life. Contact Ken Cochran at or Joe Cochran at or call: (330) 464-2148.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day with the Lorax!

We're talking about trees and the Lorax this month—which makes perfect sense with Earth Day just around the corner! Now here at our Wooster, Ohio, campus, we're celebrating Earth Day with on April 17 with our Scarlet Gray and Green Fair.

Source: via Oardc on Pinterest

And while we'd love for you to come join the fun, some of you just might not be close enough to join us for the day. If not, have you considered hosting an Earth Day celebration with the Lorax?

Stop by Suessville for plenty of fun, fabulous and hands-on ideas for celebrating Earth Day the Lorax way!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who Speaks for the Trees?

Last week we talked about the new Lorax movie based on Dr. Suess's classic book. Trees and tree health are certainly intertwined with the lives of humans throughout history. Whether for firewood, tools, paper, shelter or something else, humans rely on trees. And that means this renewable resource needs to be replenished as well!

Source: via Oardc on Pinterest

Project Learning Tree has put together a series of cool lesson plans based on the Lorax book and subsequently the movie. They are targeted to a variety of age levels and are a lot of fun—not to mention very timely with the new movie coming out in theaters!

In their Who Speaks for the Trees activities, students in grades 2-8 read the book (or watch the movie) and investigate questions why the Onceler did what he did, how the environment changed and the impact one person can have on changing the status quo. There are variations for older student and follow up activities as well.

We're actually doing a variation of this lesson plan later this month, and we were fortunate enough to receive a large pack of Lorax bookmarks from IHOP—one for each child in our group.

How fun is that? We are loving the Lorax here and excited to share the tale with our preschool programming this spring!

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