Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Natural Siue to Turn 38 Acres into Myer Arboretum

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Natural Siue to Turn 38 Acres into Myer Arboretum

Article excerpt

Daniel Sullivan sees more than just the few trees and tall prairie grass that surround him as he stands on a patch of land near the main campus buildings at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

G. Mark Shaw sees it, too.

Call them visionaries if you will, but they said their vision is very close to becoming reality.

Sullivan is the director of major gifts for the SIUE Foundation. Shaw is the operations superintendent for campus grounds at SIUE.

Standing together at that undeveloped site just northeast of the main campus, they can't help getting excited about what the 38-acre plot is scheduled to become within several months.

The land has been designated as the Myer Arboretum, in honor of the late Donal G. Myer, a former SIUE biology professor who loved open spaces, plants and wildlife. Now, in his memory, more trees and plants, park benches, a visitors' center, fountains and bridges will be added to the site so many more people can enjoy its natural beauty.

"This is a really neat project," Sullivan said. "We will bring in biology and botany and environmental studies students to use this as an outdoor laboratory."

Shaw added, "It will be a beautiful site once it's developed. The site just has a lot of really natural things going for it, and it's right next door to the center of the campus."

Sullivan has spent a good part of the last year raising money to get the arboretum going. He said with a smile that the effort had been a great success to date. The university has raised nearly $227,000 of the estimated $300,000 it will take to complete the arboretum project, and fund-raising will continue indefinitely as the project is being developed, he said.

He also quickly gave much of the credit to others for getting the money and pledges of support.

"In our business we try to keep the spotlight on our volunteers," Sullivan said.

He cited in particular Charles Tosovsky and Rita Hardy, co-chairs of a committee formed a year ago to raise money for the arboretum. …

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