For Immediate Release
April 3, 2014
For additional information:
Chief Communications Officer
Clark College Arbor Day Celebrates
Trees and Technology
VANCOUVER, Wash. – On April 9 at 11:00 a.m., Clark College will celebrate both the natural and digital worlds at its annual Arbor Day event, as it adds two new trees to the campus's beautiful arboretum and unveils a new, student-designed website that uses digital technology to catalog that arboretum. The new online map will allow visitors to instantly access descriptions of most trees on campus through their mobile devices.
The mobile-friendly online map is the product of work done by students in Clark's spring 2013 Web Design II class. The students worked with the college's Campus Tree Advisory Committee to identify trees in the campus's extensive arboretum, which includes such notable trees as a six-decade-old Scarlet Oak and 100 Shirofugen blossoming cherry trees donated to the campus by Japanese businessman John Kageyama in 1990. Students then GPS-tagged each tree and added it to the map with information about its genus and species. Additional students contributed to the project in subsequent quarters, with faculty from both the Computer Graphics Technology and the Computer Technology departments providing guidance.
"I look forward to the sight of Clark College denizens and those in the community at large walking across campus consulting their phones and tablets to find the answer to 'What kind of tree is this?'" said Computer Technology Department Head Robert Hughes, who also teaches in the Computer Graphics Technology program. “Project-based client work has been a component of our graphics and web-related curriculum for a long time. These types of experiences are helpful as our students move into the workforce.”
In keeping with this year's Arbor Day theme, "Trees and Technology," the event's keynote speech will be presented by Zahid Chaudry, GIS Program Manager of the U.S. Forest Service Region 6. Additionally, two trees are being added to the campus arboretum: an Eastern Hemlock and an Eastern White Pine. These are the official state trees of Pennsylvania and Maine, respectively, and are part of an effort by the college to include all 50 state trees in the campus arboretum; with these two additions, the arboretum will contain 39 state trees.
The event, which will take place just south of Cannell Library, will also feature the official bestowing on Clark of Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation for the fourth year in a row. Tree Campus USA colleges must meet rigorous standards in five separate areas to earn this designation. The award will be presented by a staff member from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and received by Clark College President Robert K. Knight.
The Arbor Day event is free and open to the public. Individuals who need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services (DSS) Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-991-0901 (VP). The DSS office is located in room 137 in Clark’s Gaiser Hall.
About Clark College
Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 16,000 students per quarter, Clark College is Washington state’s largest single-campus, for-credit community college. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations, one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver. Additionally, its Corporate & Continuing Education program is housed in the West Coast Bank building in downtown Vancouver.