DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Loras College Honors Program group, Saving Our Ashes, will plant seven trees on campus to help replace the ash trees that were cut down due to the emerald ash borer on Wednesday, November 13. The trees will be located along the walkway between the Alumni Campus Center and Wahlert Hall as well as along Loras Boulevard.
Jamie Engelke (’20), Connor Halbmaier (’20) and Gabe Smith (’20) began this project as part of the Loras College Honors Program with help from Dr. Erin VanLaningham, director of the honors program, and Dr. Aditi Sinha, associate professor of biology, who served as program and project advisors respectively.
Several trees across the Loras College campus were cut down to prevent further spreading of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect. The goal of Saving Our Ashes group is to replace the lost trees on the Loras College campus, thereby providing environmental benefits to the College and the surrounding area such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, cooling shade during the summer heat, attracting more pollinators, cleaning the air, and making campus more aesthetically pleasing.
Engelke, Halbmaier and Smith also plan to educate the Loras and Dubuque community about the emerald ash borer through communication with local nature preserves and campgrounds.
The group has already planted three trees on campus this past May near the Heitkamp Planetarium and Christ the King Chapel.
Financial support for the trees came via grants from Sustainable Dubuque, Loras College Student Union, and the Loras College Honors Program.
About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).