BOTTINEAU, N.D. — In September of 2020, Dakota College at Bottineau was awarded the Community Family Forestry Grant. This was awarded by the North Dakota Forest Service and funded by the Trees for North Dakota Trust Fund. The purpose of this grant is to honor families in the state by planting trees in North Dakota Communities and to strengthen the tradition of annual tree planting.
The purpose of this project was to start a successional replacement of trees that line the south side of the baseball field on Dakota College’s campus. The trees that were there, were planted in the 1970’s as a windbreak and beauty screen. Approximately 54 trees were planted in the 350 foot site. DCB’s Campus Tree Committee felt it was best to be proactive in getting new trees established. A plan was created where some of the trees could be removed but still provide some shade for visitors. New trees were planted that will become the next shade producing trees to the area. These trees will help reduce foul balls from hitting the vehicles driving on the road and also provide valued shade to spectators on sunny, warm days. A living hitters screen was also planted out by the scoreboard so the hitters will always have a green backdrop to see the ball when it is pitched.
Many individuals participated in this project. Apryl Mawby, DCB Farm Manager, coordinated the planting of the trees and the weekly watering needs. Cody Clemenson, Forest Stewardship Specialist, flagged the trees that needed to be kept. Stuart Oein, Maintenance, coordinated the removals and stump grinding. Mark Lacroix, Head Baseball Coach, coordinated the volunteer work to assist in site prep and tree planting.
Removal work was conducted in 2020. The larger logs from the trees were saved and turned into boards to be used on campus and the branches were chipped for wood chips to be used around the campus. The old stumps were then ground out and grass was planted over the old stumps. In the Summer of 2021, new trees were planted in the gaps that were created from the removals and additional trees were planted out by the scoreboard. Coach LaCroix had the Babe Ruth and Midget teams assist in planting the trees. There were 19 trees planted in the area including American Linden Basswood, Delta Hackberry, Prairie Expedition, American Elm, and Skybound Arborvitae.
Everyone involved in the project was happy with the outcome. According to Apryl, “It was great seeing so many different people come together to improve campus. Someday those players that helped plant will be able to benefit from those trees and have a sense of pride knowing they helped with the project.” Cody also thinks the project was a great success by stating that the project “accomplished all the goals we had and will provide the next generation of shade trees for people to sit and enjoy a baseball game.”
–Dakota College at Bottineau