About a year ago, John Harris, DMU’s director of facilities management, and Jonathan Martin, senior partner at the architectural firm RDG Planning & Design, had the seed of an idea that has since grown: to transplant some of the small burr oak saplings on the University’s current campus to the site of the new West Des Moines campus.
“We want to symbolically bring our current campus to the new site,” Harris says. “We’re picking up our roots and establishing them on the new campus.”
In the spring, groundskeeper Jason Meerdink replanted 11 burr oak saplings in five-gallon buckets. Martin of RDG, which is one of DMU’s partners in designing and building the new campus, and Cody Johnson, restoration manager with RES, an ecological restoration company, scouted locations where the saplings wouldn’t be disturbed by further construction; they were planted this fall. Another bucketful of acorns collected on the current campus are being wintered for future planting on the West Des Moines site.