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Jeff Severin
Center for Sustainability
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Replant Mount Oread launches two-week fundraising campaign with $5,000 goal

Mon, 03/03/2014

"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now."

That Chinese proverb ​guides Replant Mount Oread, an effort by the University of Kansas Campus Tree Advisory Board to raise funds for campus trees and involve the campus community in annual planting events. Replant Mount Oread launched in the spring of 2012 to help maintain and enhance the beauty of the KU landscape and ensure that future Jayhawks will be able to experience the same benefits that students, staff, faculty and visitors enjoy today. 

The project is launching a two-week fundraising campaign today with a goal to raise $5,000 for its April 11 planting on the Stauffer-Flint and Watson Library lawns. Contributions to the fund can be made through KU Endowment at www.kuendowment.org/replantmtoread. One of the first contributors to this fund was Ann Brill, dean of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, who made a $500 gift in memory of her late husband, Larry J. Schmitz.

“We have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to planting trees on campus,” said Jeff Severin, director of the Center for Sustainability. “If we don’t start filling that gap and planting more trees than we remove each year, we are going to quickly lose an historic element of our campus that provides important cultural and environmental benefits."

Age, storm damage and disease take a significant toll on trees across the Lawrence campus, and in recent years the loss of trees has been as high as 80 to 90 trees per year. However, the current landscaping budget only allows for about 50 trees per year to be replanted and maintained.

The Replant Mount Oread two-week fundraising campaign will combine on-campus activities with an aggressive social media campaign during the first two weeks of March to meet its $5,000 goal. Volunteers will be visible on the KU campus with the Replant Money Tree for donors to attach bills or coins to, and messages will be spread on the Replant Mount Oread Faceboook page and on the Center for Sustainability Twitter account, @SustainKU. Individuals interested in assisting with the fundraising initiative can contact the Center for Sustainability at sustainability@ku.edu.

The Stauffer-Flint Lawn has been selected for the 2014 Replant site in part because of its historic ties and its importance to modern-day student life.  Many of the larger trees on this site are ash trees and may be susceptible to the emerald ash borer, a highly destructive, invasive insect that has been reported in neighboring counties. Although some ash trees on campus will be treated to protect them from the borer, Replant efforts like this one are a proactive approach to help mitigate future losses to predicted disease and damaging insect infestations.

Volunteers interested in participating in the April 11 Replant Mount Oread event on the Stauffer-Flint Lawn can sign up at http://www.sustain.ku.edu/replant/volunteer.

Replant Mount Oread is part of KU's efforts to meet Tree Campus USA standards. The Arbor Day Foundation recently honored KU with this recognition for the second year in a row. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and sponsored by Toyota to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

KU achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.



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Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

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Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


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