Serbian spruces, Japanese tree lilacs and star magnolias are just a few of the new tree species showing up on County College of Morris’ Randolph campus as a part of a planting program to create an arboretum-like atmosphere at the college.
The planting is part of the recent Solar Panel Project which necessitated the removal of several groups of trees on campus. In place of those trees, the CCM Grounds and Maintenance department and the Landscape and Horticultural Technology (LHT) department and LHT students have begun planting ornamental trees and shrubs around the campus.
The goals of the project are to replace the plant material that was removed to place solar panels over the parking lots, to increase the diversity of trees and shrubs on campus that can be used for LHT design and plant identification courses, and to create an arboretum-like atmosphere for the enjoyment of faculty, staff
students and visitors,” said Brian Oleksak, chair of the LHT department.
The first planting phase occurring this spring is part of a multi-phased installation. To date, 40 trees and shrubs have been planted in the grassy area near the Plant and Maintenance building across from Parking Lot 5 and along Parking lots 2 and 9.
CCM’s in-house professionals created the design for the plantings utilizing the expertise of the LHT staff.
The trees, along with the solar panels, will significantly reduce CCM’s carbon footprint. A total of 12,000 high-efficiency solar panels were installed at CCM over Parking lots 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and on the rooftop of the Student Community Center. The solar panels are expected to result in the reduction of 1,400 tons of carbon dioxide and 60 tons of methane a year. That carbon reduction is equal to what 60,000 mature trees would accomplish in a year, according to SunLight General Capital, which financed the Solar Panel Project at CCM under the direction of the Morris County Improvement Authority.
The tree planting project also will be adding such species as ninebarks, European hornbeams,
paperback maples and viburnums to the campus.
Photos: Brian Oleksak, chair of the Landscape and Horticultural Technology (LHT) department with LHT students Holly Piascik, Jeanne Wilson and Emily McGale as McGale works on planting a ninebark.
LHT student Victor Dziegielewski plants a viburnum with the solar panels in the background.
Credit: Shelley Kusnetz Photography