48 new trees planted on campus

Graham C Wheat, Reporter

Bakersfield College’s campus received the beginning of a green makeover on Nov. 3, when 48 new trees were planted.  52 more new trees will be planted by the spring to coincide with Garden Fest that is slated for mid April.

The 100 new trees are being planted in conjunction with BC’s centennial celebration and were paid for by a grant from Pacific Gas and Electric and TransWest Security, according to Mellisa Iger who is behind the planting.

Iger, a recent BC horticulture graduate, works with the Kern Tree Foundation and organized the volunteer planting effort.

The Kern Tree Foundation has worked with BC previously and many of its board members are professors at the school.

As a non-profit, they have planted tens of thousands of trees in Bakersfield.

She has high expectations for the future of the new trees.

“This was the first planting of 100 trees in celebration of BC’s centennial,” said Iger. “There are some special trees here.

“What we are trying to do is turn the campus into an arboretum.

“People can go to the tree and look at its label, and then find it in the nursery and know that tree will do OK in Bakersfield.”

No definitive time frame was given on when the trees would be labeled.

Many students from BC volunteered to plant the 22 different varieties of trees. Students from the forestry, and horticulture program helped out as well as women’s basketball coach Paula Dahl and some of her players.

They were given a quick lesson on proper tree planting from Iger and horticulture professors who volunteered.

Iger was also pleasantly surprised by the turnout of volunteers.

“I think we have about 50 volunteers today,” said Iger. “I have done plantings before with just me and one other person. It really shows school spirit, and how much some students care.

“It’s a great school and it is going to be even better now.”

Students were also receptive to the new addition of foliage on campus.

Forestry student Albert Perez, 29, diligently followed Iger’s planting directions while contemplating the trees.

“I think it’s good and I think we need it.

“We are always removing trees from our environment while at the same time Mother Nature needs more trees,” said Perez. “Not only will it look better, I believe it will bring more peace to the school.”

The Kern Tree Foundation has worked with BC previously and many of its board members are professors at the school.

Iger was eager about the prospect of many new types of trees and the opportunities for them as time carries on.