LAWRENCE — This spring, Replant Mount Oread will return to its roots with a planting in historic Marvin Grove. On Friday, April 28, volunteers will plant three American Linden, four Kentucky Coffee and four red oak trees in an area of the grove just west of the Spencer Museum of Art. The project will also add nine redbuds to the Mississippi Street Terrace along Jayhawk Boulevard.
The planting is especially significant as Marvin Grove was the site of one of the most important tree plantings in campus history. In the fall of 1878, Chancellor James Marvin and three companions, including N.P. Deming from the Douglas County Horticultural Society, planted walnuts throughout what was then a rocky prairieland known as North Hollow. Years later, nearly 130 walnut trees were growing, many of which still exist today. It wasn’t until 1906 that Marvin’s efforts were recognized, as the KU Board of Regents renamed the area “Marvin Grove.” Marvin was responsible for the university’s first Arbor Day, canceling classes just months before the Marvin Grove planting so that the campus community could participate in planting nearly 300 trees across Mount Oread.
The Replant project in Marvin Grove marks the first of several plantings recommended by the Marvin Grove Management Plan, a guiding document produced by the Campus Tree Advisory Board in 2016. The plan establishes a set of guidelines for the maintenance, protection and preservation of the grove. Recommendations are based in part on an inventory of the site created by students in the Environmental Studies Field Ecology course. The plan was recently recognized by the Midwestern chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture with a Gold Leaf Award for Outstanding Landscape Beautification Activities.
Tree planting in Marvin Grove will start at 10 a.m. and continue until all 20 trees are planted and mulched. Volunteers are asked to sign up online for a two-hour shift starting at 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided at noon for all volunteers who sign up in advance.
Historic Mount Oread Friends, an organization dedicated to preservation of the architecture and open spaces of KU’s historic campus, has provided funding for the Marvin Grove project. Replant projects for the 2016-2017 academic year are sponsored by Audrie Seeley Landscaping, Minuteman Press and Turner Construction, and supported by individual donors. For more information, to volunteer, or to contribute to Replant Mount Oread, please visit www.replant.ku.edu.