Tag Archive for campus

Staff Spotlight: Borman Planting Trees for Wesleyan’s Next Century

Grounds Manager Rob Borman notes that the trees he and his team plant will shape the campus for decades to come.

In this Q&A, we speak with Rob Borman, grounds manager for Physical Plant.

“The trees we are planting this year are creating the face of Wesleyan 100 years from now,” Borman says. Offering a guided tour of the central campus, he noted recent plantings, the decision process behind those choices, and the history of what felled any previous trees on those spots.

He also focused on present details, taking note of the health of the foliage—color and thickness—as well as any recent stressors, like extreme weather or insect-related events, which may be affecting these future giants of Wesleyan.

Q: When did you become the grounds manager?

A: I became the grounds manager in October 2014. Prior to this, I was in facilities maintenance, focusing solely on athletics, including event preparation and set-up. However, I’d been forming my impressions of the entire campus, even then.

Q: What was first on your list?

Documentary by Magruder ’17, DuMont ’17 to be Screened Sept. 18 on Campus

While still undergraduates, Julie Magruder ’17 and Jackson DuMont ’17 began filming The Face of Kinship Care, a documentary highlighting the important role that familial, but non-parental, caregivers provide in the lives of children. The documentary will be will be shown at Wesleyan—as well as more widely—at 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 18, at the Powell Family Cinema. September, notes Magruder, is Kinship Care Month in a number of states. Through her work on this film, Magruder has become an advocate for highlighting the importance of kinship caregivers in all states.

The project began more than a year ago, when Christine James-Brown, president of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), requested a documentary on the topic. Through the W. T. Grant Foundation, DuMont was put in touch with James-Brown. DuMont knew of Magruder’s particular interest in nonfiction storytelling, and once the idea had been solidified, he reached out to collaborate.

Wesleyan Celebrates Arbor Day with 45 New Tree Plantings

This spring, crews are planting new trees at multiple locations on campus. 

This spring, crews are planting new trees at multiple locations on campus.

In honor of Arbor Day on April 28, Wesleyan is celebrating the planting (or proposed planting) of more than 45 new trees on campus in 2017.

Pale-pink blossoming cherry trees, a hardy pin oak, an endangered dawn redwood and a Chinese lobed-leaf Ginkgo biloba are among the new perennial plantings peppered across the Wesleyan landscape.

Since trees become a permanent fixture, Grounds Manager Rob Borman takes many factors into consideration before tilling up any soil and planting roots.

He notes the history of campus; the existing tree canopy; what trees will thrive in Connecticut’s climate; proximity to buildings, sidewalks and roads; surrounding landscape; how it would affect snow plowing, mowing and other grounds maintenance; and benefits to the environment.

“We also consider the Wesleyan tour route and high visibility areas, and we always value feedback from the Wesleyan community,” Borman said. “All of this is considered both for time of planting, as well as the tree’s full maturity.”

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Click to enlarge the 2017 campus tree map.

The trees and their planned locations include:
One birch cluster in front of the Freeman Athletic Center;
Two Norway spruce on Warren Street near the Freeman Athletic Center;
23 Yoshino cherry trees along Vine Street;
Eight Kwanzan cherry trees near West College;
Two red maples, two red oaks and one pin oak near the Foss residences;
One Ginkgo in front of the Public Affairs Center;
Two paper bark maples, a birch cluster and dawn redwood between the Davison Art Center and Davison Health Center;
Two paper bark maples near the Center for African Studies;
One red maple across from Alpha Delta Phi;
One hybrid elm in front of Judd Hall;
And one red oak in the center of College Row.

Since 2014, Borman has led the effort to plant more than 230 trees and shrubs on campus.

Wesleyan’s efforts have contributed to the City of Middletown receiving an Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA designation for 27 years.

While many trees grow up, others come down.

“We try to avoid cutting down existing trees at all costs,” Borman explained. “If we remove a tree, it’s because the tree has died, it was injured due to a storm, it is too close to structures or construction projects, or it is a safety hazard to the community. We always try to plant one tree for every felled tree.”

Wesleyan grounds will continue to plant more species in the fall.

Eight Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are planted near the West College Courtyard. They will be in full bloom in early May.

Eight Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are planted near the West College Courtyard. They will be in full bloom in early May.

Campus Starts to Look and Feel Like Spring

Will Barr ’18 frolics in Wesleyan’s last patch of snow April 3 on College Row. Will, who hails from Florida, is majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry and the College of Integrative Sciences. Temperatures reached 63 degrees.

Will Barr ’18 frolics in Wesleyan’s last patch of snow April 3 on College Row. Will, who hails from Florida, is majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry and the College of Integrative Sciences. Temperatures reached 63 degrees.

Pansies are planted in several containers on College Row.

Pansies are planted in several containers on College Row.

Fall is in the Air at Wesleyan

As the temperatures begin to cool this October, students are starting to sport sweaters, hoodies and jackets. Wesleyan’s many maple trees are bursting into color. Fall is in the air.

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Wesleyan’s Campus Boasts Natural Landscapes, Meadows, Wildflowers

Wesleyan’s campus is home to 89 acres of natural areas. These meadow areas are only mowed once a year and are home to wildflowers, native grasses and provide food and homes for wildlife. As part of the Wesleyan Sustainability Grounds Initiatives, the university is in the process of expanding no-mow areas across campus.

Hundreds of lupines grow in a meadow near Physical Plant on Long Lane. Hundreds of lupines grow in a meadow near Physical Plant on Long Lane.

Hundreds of lupines grow in a meadow near Physical Plant on Long Lane.

Campus Blooms to Life

Wesleyan's campus is home to dozens of flowering shrubs, trees and blooming flower gardens.

Wesleyan’s campus is home to dozens of flowering shrubs, trees and blooming flower gardens.

Pink mountain laurels bloom near Olin Library.

Pink mountain laurels bloom near Olin Library.

Lily of the Valley grows near the President's House. Pictured in the background is the Archeology Department.

Lily of the Valley grows near the President’s House.

Red geraniums bloom behind Olin Library and face Fayerweather Hall and Usdan University Center.

Red geraniums face Fayerweather Hall and Usdan University Center.

Pots of geraniums line the top of Denison Terrace.

Pots of geraniums line the top of Denison Terrace.

Lilacs radiate a sweet smell near the Center for the Americas.

Lilacs radiate a sweet smell near the Center for the Americas.

Phlox blooms near the West College residences.

Phlox blooms near the West College residences.

Giant alliums grow near West College.

Giant alliums grow near West College.

Pink rhododendrons bloom near College Row.

Pink rhododendrons bloom near College Row.

A dogwood tree blooms near the Center for the Americas.

A dogwood tree blooms near the Center for the Americas.

Planted pansies bloom near Davison Art Center.

Planted pansies bloom near Davison Art Center.

Petunias, geraniums and other flowers are planted near Boger Hall.

Petunias and hosta are planted near Boger Hall.

Roses near student residences.

Roses near student residences.

Azalea bloom near Andrus Field.

Azalea bloom near Andrus Field.

Lupines grow in the West College courtyard, mimicking the steeple of Memorial Chapel. Lupines grow in the West College courtyard, mimicking the steeple of Memorial Chapel.

Lupines and phlox grow in the West College courtyard, mimicking the steeple of Memorial Chapel. (Photos by Olivia Drake)