Campus beautification project to lead to national designation


When Malone moved from Cleveland to Canton in 1957, the college’s landscape was bare farmland, prompting early professors to plant some of now-mature trees that provide beauty and shade  – such as the Pin Oaks around the residence halls Woolman-Whittier-Fox (WWF).

Charles King, former professor of botany, planted many of those trees specifically for the purpose of being studied by his students. Cynthia Johnson '70, lecturer in Natural Sciences, and Brendan Cress ’16 are now collaborating to continue this idea.

Commissioned by President David King as part of a tree task force, Johnson has compiled a list of trees to plant on campus.

“We don’t have a sugar maple or a sassafras tree,” Johnson said. “But Ohio is the country’s second largest production of maple syrup…I would like to bring in some of the common trees. Plants soak up CO2 and give off oxygen – and they are beautiful.”

Cress is identifying every tree on campus for his senior research project – which will allow Malone to become part of the Tree Campus USA program through the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA recognizes institutions which effectively manage their campus trees, develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests; and strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry efforts.

Malone’s campus already has diverse wildlife but Johnson hopes to add to the number of native trees, shrubs, and bushes to invite additional species of birds.

The task force is currently searching for rapid growth, low maintenance trees.

Johnson said her ultimate goal is to have a tree-walk on campus for community members, and for college students to host educational programs for local schoolchildren.