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Cracking the Concrete: LCC Announces Urban Forest Plan for 2015

Native Michigan Trees to add Greenspaces to Downtown Campus

December 17, 2014

Lansing, MICH – Lansing Community College (LCC) announced today their plan to create a cleaner, greener campus by planting approximately 200 trees in 2015. The proposal was approved at the December 15 Board meeting.

“Every tree on campus has been inventoried, evaluated, and reviewed for condition and expected life span by four independent horticultural professionals—including an expert from Michigan State University,” LCC President Dr. Brent Knight said. “We have made an extraordinary effort to ensure that a consensus decision is reached for each and every tree.”

The finished product is envisioned as a collection of treescapes within the campus core, with links to the surrounding frame of streets and public spaces. Each new tree planted will be a robust, native species that is indigenous to the area and will be selected based on suitability and 100-year life span.

“The additional mulch, trees, and greenspace will reduce urban heat and help prevent hydrocarbons from polluting the Grand River Watershed,” said Gregory Minshall, president of civil engineering and land surveying company, Eng. Engineering & Surveying. “The leaves will also collect rain water run-off, helping to reduce flooding.”

Details of the campus improvement project include the narrowing of the sidewalks and improved landscaping between the Health and Human Services building and the Early LCC facility.

The additional trees will not only create an urban forest for students, faculty, and staff, but will also transform the streetscape in the heart of downtown Lansing. The sidewalks will be replaced along Capitol Ave. and Shiawassee St. with narrower walks and brick bands adjacent to the curb. To help ensure viability, the new trees will be planted in minimum 15-foot wide landscaped areas behind the sidewalk, helping to reduce salt damage and allowing a wider area for root growth.

The downtown campus encompasses 32 acres and will consist of nearly 500 trees. The College recognizes that the landscape of LCC is a valuable asset to the community and will be vigilant in utilizing best practices in responsible urban forestry by only removing trees as a consequence of disease, mortality, or safety. This supports the long-term goal of ensuring a vibrant, safe, and sustainable campus for students, faculty, and staff.

About Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College is Michigan's third largest community college with approximately 20,000 students attending each year. LCC offers courses in general education for those interested in transferring to a four-year institution, career and workforce development, developmental education and personal enrichment. To meet the professional development and training needs of regional employees, the college offers customized programs for credit, non-credit and continuing education. The University Center at LCC offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from six partner universities on the downtown LCC campus. For more information, visit lcc.edu.

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