“My favorite tree is a tamarack that we planted last year next to the College’s community garden. Tamaracks are a threatened native species in Illinois, so it was really important that we planted one,” said Halverson. “The needles on the tamarack turn a beautiful golden color before they drop in winter. The community garden is my favorite place on campus, so it is really special to have this beautiful tree next to it.”
The College currently has 97 different species of trees on campus, only three short needed for the level 2 accreditation requirement of 100.
“The more diverse we make our campus ecosystem, the more resilient and resistant to disease it will be,” said Drummond. “It also means we have to be very strategic about which trees we plant next.”
The ArbNet accreditation shows North Central’s continued support of the campus ecosystem after being honored with the Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation every year since 2016.
“North Central’s emphasis on sustainability teaches students that it should be a priority and norm in everything we do,” said Halverson, who plans to work in corporate sustainability. “From our daily lifestyles to our future careers, we need to consider the influence we can have.”