Members of the Garden Club of Evanston Monday toured the campus of Evanston Township High School to see the results of their role in a project to establish an arboretum at the school.
In 2008, the club dedicated funds to help the school inventory the 65-acre collection of trees and shrubs by type and condition, according to Victoria Wagner, chairman of its Centennial Tree Project Committee.
It also agreed to plant three new trees a year on the school property. Since then, the club has added 19 new trees and 80 shrubs, utilizing a $25,000 grant from the school’s maintenance and operations budget toward work on the North and South courtyards of the school.
“While we provided a $25,000 grant,” said the school’s chief financial officer, Bill Stafford, “the Garden Club’s contributions of time and money gave us the equivalent of $45,000 worth of enhancements to our property.”
This planting in the North, or Senior, courtyard, was part of the work contributed by the Garden Club.
He told the group Monday that a “sharp and professional-looking environment” has a positive effect on the educational mission of the school.
Wagner said the inventory revealed “riches” such as 90-year-old elms, gingkos, hackberrys, beeches, maples, buckeyes, catalbas, magnolias, yews, hawthorns, and lindens.
By the time students returned to school this week, the club had labeled 45 of the trees, including the 19 new ones, “for scientific, educational, and ornamental purposes.”
Top: Garden Club members gather outside ETHS to see results of their partnership with the school.