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Landscaping Project Adds Over 100 Trees On Campus

07- 24- 2006

Spartanburg, S.C. - Spring, the traditional time for planting, has been busy for the University of South Carolina Upstate Landscape Services. The department has planted 102 trees on East Campus Boulevard and Valley Falls Road, on the edges of the Spartanburg campus.
     The trees were donated to USC Upstate from Dr. Michael Dirr, a professor at the University of Georgia – Athens and well-known author of more than 300 scientific publications and seven horticulture books. Dirr donated these trees in honor of the Noble Tree Foundation and in celebration of the city’s 175th Anniversary Celebration. Spartanburg’s Noble Tree Foundation, founded by Roger Milliken in 1999, assisted with site planning and design. Site planning was orchestrated by Rick Puncke, facilities director at USC Upstate, and Bruce Suddeth, landscape director at USC Upstate.
     To keep harmony in landscape design along the I-585 corridor, Buddy Harmon and Stewart Winslow of Milliken and Company, along with Suddeth, designed a plan incorporating Dirr’s trees from the Athens farm. Roebuck Wholesale Nursery and Landscaping dug and transported the trees from Georgia to Spartanburg. Once the trees were on site, a coordinated effort between Roebuck Wholesale Nursery and Landscaping, Shurburtt Corporation and USC Upstate Landscape Services began implementing the planting.
     “We received very high-quality specimens,” says Suddeth.
     The collection includes trees from the conifer family, including 60 Western arborvitae, Forty-two Taxodium distichum, better known as “Shawnee Brave” Bald cypress, were also incorporated into the landscape. Many of the trees have been planted in clusters, alongside the roads and in roadway medians.
     The University’s landscaping efforts are part of a county-wide master plan for the beautification of the county’s transportation network. The University worked with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the Spartanburg Area Transportation Study (SPATS) to obtain a grant for the Transportation Enhancement Project for the installation and irrigation of the trees. Eighty percent of the grant money is from federal sources and twenty percent is from local sources.
     “This project is a small piece of the larger beautification project, to tie colleges together, with rail and trails, etc.,” says Lisa Bollinger, intermodal planner with SPATS. “This is an integral part in connecting the Spartanburg area consistent with the spirit of the SPATS master plan for beautification,” she adds.
     The project was approved on May 31, 2005, but planting had to wait until construction of East Campus Boulevard was essentially complete. Finally this spring, work crews stayed busy getting all the plants settled in their permanent locations. Irrigation will be installed this summer and further miscellaneous trees and shrubs will be planted this fall.
     Additional beautification plans will focus next year on the interchanges with I-585/US Highway 176. USC Upstate plans to adopt this interchange from SCDOT and landscape the area so it will be an attractive entrance to the university as well as the city of Spartanburg.
     For additional information, contact Bruce Suddeth at (864) 503-5500.