July 17, 2008
Parks and Recreation Foundation of Vancouver and Clark County
A GREEN GIFT BEARS WITNESS
TO THIS ALUM’S ROOTS AT CLARK COLLEGE
Clark College and the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Vancouver
and Clark County designate a “Witness Tree”
in honor of Clark alum Denis Hayes
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Visitors 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, 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 Clark College President Robert K. Knight. Knight 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 through the Witness Tree Program for his outstanding contributions to environmental education and awareness.”