Peru State College Arboretum Receives Excellence Award
(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College’s (PSC) “Campus of a Thousand Oaks” Arboretum was among those honored at the 2009 Award Reception of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum (NSA) earlier this month at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center.
PSC received the arboretum’s annual Affiliate Excellence Award, which “recognizes an affiliate site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum that demonstrates excellence in collection development, maintenance practice and community engagement.” PSC is one of 90 sites comprising the NSA and is the second recipient of its Affiliate Excellence Award. Peru’s campus was affiliated with the NSA from 1979 to 1994 and became reaffiliated in 2004.
In presenting the award, Interim Director Justin Evertson said PSC’s arboretum underwent a transformation in the last 10 years, thanks to the efforts of present and past curators Mike Haley, manager of landscape/arboretum, and Linda Jacobsen, former vice president for administration and finance. Hundreds of new trees and shrubs have been planted on the campus, including an oak grove with 37 oak species. The college is also home to a rare natural hybrid called a Deam Oak or Quercus Deamii, which is a cross between a Bur Oak and a Chinkapin Oak. The hybrid is located just south of the Jindra Fine Arts Building. Haley said, “If it’s an oak and it will grow in Nebraska, we’ll have it at Peru State College.”
PSC President Dan Hanson said, “This honor is testimony to the vision and stewardship of Linda Jacobsen and the hard work and dedication of Mike Haley and his staff, Dan Boden, Ken LaVigne and Ron Schultz. I congratulate them on this well-deserved honor and thank them for continuing to make the Campus of a Thousand Oaks a scenic and inspiring place to study, live and work.”
Nestled in the oak-covered hills above the Missouri River, Peru State College is over 142 years old, but is relatively young compared to some of the majestic trees growing on campus and in the surrounding woodlands. “It’s great to see a college landscape that ties so beautifully into its natural setting,” Evertson said. More than 100 species of trees are represented in the arboretum.
For more information or tours of the Peru State College Arboretum, contact Haley at 402-872-2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.