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VDenis Hayes stands by the isitors to the Clark College science building may not yet realize it, but they are now walking past the Denis Hayes monkey puzzle tree.

The designation came as part of a thank-you to Hayes for serving as keynote speaker at the annual meeting and luncheon of the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Vancouver and Clark County on June 12. Hayes received Clark College’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 1978 for his work as coordinator of the first Earth Day, head of Earth Day Network, President and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, and chairman of the board of the Energy Foundation.

The designation came through the “Witness Tree” program of the Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry Commission. In that program, residents who wish to plant a new tree – or dedicate an existing tree – in honor or memory of a special person or event may participate in the Witness Tree program, which is both a memorial program and an adopt-a-tree program that provides a way to commemorate special occasions while also enhancing our urban forest.

In searching for the perfect tree to honor Hayes, the Parks Foundation reached out to the college. “We felt that the uniqueness of the tree – and its location next to the science building – were both great tributes to Hayes’ contributions throughout his life,” said Plant Services Director Jim Green. Green says a plaque will be placed next to the tree. The plaque, which is expected to be in place for the college's 75th anniversary on October 1, will include information about Denis Hayes, the monkey puzzle tree and the witness tree program. 

Parks Foundation Executive Director Cheri Martin said, “The Parks Foundation was pleased to partner with Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation and Clark College in honoring Denis for his outstanding contributions to environmental education and awareness through the Witness Tree Program.” Martin (then known as Cheri Cole) formerly served as Director of Alumni Relations for the Clark College Foundation.

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