Scott Mackey, junior biology major, puts the final touch on new tree outside Hearnes Hall on Nov. 13.

Scott Mackey, junior biology major, puts the final touch on new tree outside Hearnes Hall on Nov. 13.

A new landscaping plan is in the works for Missouri Southern.

“What was here was not particularly good,” said Dr. Dorothy Bay, professor of biology. “What we’re doing now is we’re making it more even and making it more ecologically friendly.”

Many trees were heavily damaged from ice storms during the last few years. Some existing trees were crowded, others blocked the view of campus buildings or were diseased. A plan from the Missouri Department of Conservation Forestry Division is the first phase in a living plan to create an arboretum on campus.

Swamp white oak, Kentucky coffeetree, shagbark hickory, skyline honey locust, tulip poplar, blackgum, northern red oak and bald cypress are among the more than 30 varieties of trees to be planted in the next few weeks.

“We’re taking out 31 [trees] and installing 157,” said Geoff Cook with Groomsmaster, contractor for the project during a visit last week.

He expects to be done with the project by Dec. 1.

“It’s something that we don’t just do it and it’s done and that’s it,” Bay said. “It’s a method for landscaping this campus as long as this campus is here.”

Funding from FEMA covers the $7,600 to remove damaged trees and roughly $23,500 to purchase the trees and get them in the ground. Steve Smith, sustainability program coordinator and professor of geography, said FEMA’s contribution is significant and allows the University to look forward instead of just replacing what was lost.

“The spirit of the law is to recover and rebuild,” Smith said, “And rebuild in the ways that are going to require you not to need it in the future.”

Funds raised on the campus in the aftermath of last winter’s storms will support the ongoing plan. Bay plans to apply for a T.R.I.M.(Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance) grant to supplement funds for phase two, landscaping areas on campus currently under construction.

Micro-habitats on campus will support most varieties. The Sustainability Committee also hopes to plant trees representing every state and a tree for each themed-semester country. Plaques denoting species and a brochure with a tree walk and description are part of the future vision.

“The third phase would be looking at how we take the species that we’ve planted both in trees and shrubs and integrate them into an arboretum,” Smith said.