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The Care and Feeding of an Arboretum

The John Bartram Arboretum at Kendal at Oberlin is in its infancy, and as such the resident driven Arboretum Committee is responsible for decisions concerning its care.  A number of committee members are well-versed in the care of trees and plant life, but are looking to professionals for advice in this relatively new venture.

An Arboretum is an Outdoor Living Museum

Recently Kathy Smith, statewide director of forestry for Ohio State University Extension Service visited the John Bartram Arboretum at Kendal at Oberlin to help the resident-run Arboretum Committee frame their thinking about a new master landscape plan for the Kendal campus and meeting the challenges to create and maintain a sustainable, low-input environment.

Kathy’s visit was a whirlwind that covered many elements germane to the Kendal at Oberlin Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 initiative to develop a master plan for landscaping, with special attention to maintaining and improving wetlands space, use of native plants, health of trees, and the elimination of invasive species.

Kathy also identified a number of other experts in the OSU Extension Service and the Ohio DNR whose expertise we should call upon as this planning process moves forward.

About Kathy Smith

Kathy Smith received her bachelor’s in forest resource management from The Ohio State University in 1985. She received her master’s degree in natural resources management from OSU in 1989.

Kathy joined ODNR, Division of Forestry in 1990 as a watershed forester. She covered a 10 county area in west central Ohio designated as the Top of Ohio RC&D. In her role as a watershed forester Kathy worked with numerous watershed projects promoting riparian buffer restoration and developing management plans for both upland and riparian forests.

In 2001 Kathy moved to her position within the School, serving first as an Extension Associate then later as Program Director for the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. She is responsible for coordinating, promoting and teaching programs targeted towards Ohio’s many woodland owners and natural resource professionals.

The dedicated Arboretum Committee is not only receiving sage advice on managing the arboretum, but along the way, committee members also find themselves students, as they add to their own knowledge of trees and their environment.