Call them tree huggers. They won’t mind.
Members of Botanica and the Kansas Association of Arboreta and Botanical Gardens from Wichita celebrated Arbor Day and their love for trees by planting a tree at the Wilkinson Alumni Center.
R.O. “Dick” Weidenbach, a landscape architect from Wichita and the founder and chairman of the KAABG, said he has been organizing similar trips all across Kansas for 30 years, but this was the first to Pittsburg.
“You have a beautiful campus,” Weidenbach said, as members of the PSU landscaping crew prepared the site for a Yoshino cherry tree. Cate Breneman, PSU’s grounds maintenance supervisor, said the tree was selected for its prolific and fragrant blossoms.
Ken Bateman, a PSU alumnus and director emeritus of Alumni and Constituent Relations, led the group on its tour of campus. He said planting the tree was the first effort in a drive to identify, mark and expand the number of trees on the campus. Private gifts and grants will support that project.
Breneman said that as trees are added to the campus landscape in the coming months and years, particular attention will be paid to selecting species that are native to Kansas and are hardy in this region.

R.O. “Dick” Weidenbach, a landscape architect from Wichita and the founder and chairman of the KAABG, right, prepares to help plant a tree at PSU’s Wilkinson Alumni Center.