Fermilab History and Archives Project

Natural History - Arbor Day

FIRST ARBOR DAY AT NAL


ARBOR DAY - Nearly 100 trees were planted in the NAL Village on Arbor Day by some 15 employees for what some called "Wilson's Woods" and others referred to as "NAL's Forest." Here two distinguished excavators -- Donald Getz, assistant Laboratory director, and Robert R. Wilson, Laboratory director -- proudly rest after planting a joint venture titled: "The Directorate." Free soft drinks were served to those who gave of their time and energy to observe the first annual Arbor Day at NAL

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 1 No. 2, April, 1969

 

 

 

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SECOND NAL ARBOR DAY PLANS ANNOUNCED

Plans were announced this week by the NAL Site Manager's office for the second Arbor Day tree planting in the NAL Village. Employees who want to participate should bring shovels and meet at the Curia on Friday, May 1 at 1:30 p.m. (the date is a postponement from April 24, because of wet ground conditions). Following brief ceremonies, the group will move to the planting sites. In a prepared area west of the Kuhn farm barn at the corner of Sauk Boulevard and Batavia Road, and in the open field just south of the Photography house at 14 Sauk, some 150 trees will be planted.

The first Arbor Day planting held at NAL, on April 25, 1969, was highly successful and resulted in planting of over 100 ash trees in an area just east of the Cafeteria.

This year, varieties of maple, walnut, and cherry trees will be balled and wrapped in burlap, and carefully color-coded to match a specific planting plan. Planters may use the holes provided or, if so inclined, they can "dig their own."

Carrying out the desires of the Laboratory's Director, Robert R. Wilson, to "preserve what we have, add to it, and create with imagination, so that the site can become a joy to behold -- a source of pride for all of us," the Farm Management and Site Manager's Offices started the tree planting program in the winter of 1968-69 with 200 white and red pine, 14 feet in height, from the Argonne National Laboratory nursery. The planting was done in the extreme cold of the winter months, but was a successful beginning, with only 24 trees lost.

Another massive tree-moving undertaking was completed in April and May of 1969 when the Laboratory had an opportunity to acquire the entire Orentowski nursery, which lay in the path of a new line of the Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America. A program was instituted to move 1,600 pieces from the nursery to the NAL Village in less than three weeks. A boon to this operation was the rainy spring season which followed and held loss to four and one-half percent.

The Spring of 1970 will see the beginning of the NAL boundary plantings, the "natural fences," consisting of native low-to-medium shrubs in irregular patterns along the NAL boundaries. This year, some 40,000 seedling plants will be planted from Eola Road west to the western boundary at the abandoned railroad. Eventually, the entire boundary of the site will be so planted.

The official conservation policy of the NAL includes the observation, "Nature may be bountiful, but it is not unlimited. The costs of conservation must be accepted as a new increase in the normal costs of doing business."

In each stage of planning at NAL, compatibility with Nature's original bounty is carefully weighed. "The National Accelerator Laboratory is pursuing a firm conservationist path in all of its relationships with nature and natural resources. Considerable study effort has been spent in developing a natural resources utilization plan that will satisfy the operation requirements at the Laboratory and will adhere to depletion and pollution standards considerably more stringent than current laws stipulate."

By the end of 1970, plantings of the following kinds of trees will be established at NAL:

 Austrian Pine   Red Oak   Seedless White Ash   Black Walnut 
 White Birch   Pin Oak   Black Alder   Bird Cherry 
 Concolor Fir   Sugar Maple   Redbud   Pin Cherry 
 Shadmaster Locust   Norway Maple   Thornless Honey Locust   Weeping Willow 

Bob Ebl, Designer in the Site Manager's Office who supervises the NAL plantings, says, "When these seedlings are established, they will provide NAL with a natural and aesthetically acceptable barrier which will also provide some security for the site."

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 2 No. 16, April 23, 1970

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SECOND ARBOR DAY AT NAL

A belated but busy Arbor Day. Here (left to right) Rene Tracy, Nancy Lupo, Jacob Zouganelis, Quentin Kerns and Bob Hodge help to plant a tree in the Village
A belated but busy Arbor Day. Here (left to right) Rene Tracy, Nancy Lupo, Jacob Zouganelis, Quentin Kerns and Bob Hodge help to plant a tree in the Village

Photo by Tony Frelo, NAL

About 150 trees were planted in the area near the entrance to the NAL Village -Sauk Boulevard and Batavia Road -- in an Arbor Day festival belatedly held Wednesday, May 6, because of inclement weather both on April 24th and May lst.

Some 100 NAL staff members took part in the planting party which met at the Curia and walked the six-block stretch to the site. Shovels and refreshments were provided for the participants, representing quite a variety of disciplines -- from theoretical physicists to secretaries.

Site Management helped to make the task of planting the trees a bit easier by machine-digging most of the holes required. The variety of trees planted included Norway Maple, Sugar Maple, Black Alder, Redbud, White Ash, Thornless Honey Locust, Black Walnut, Bird Cherry, Pin Cherry, Pin Oak and Weeping Willow. Maintenance has taken on the responsibility of periodically watering the new trees.

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 2 No. 19, May 14, 1970

 

ARBOR DAY 1976

Bob Hall, Bob Kraft, Rick Morrell, Darrell Porter, Nino Trevino move shrubs from boundary plantings
Bob Hall, Bob Kraft, Rick Morrell, Darrell Porter, Nino Trevino move shrubs from boundary plantings
Rudy Dorner, Site Manager, at nursery on Eola Road
Rudy Dorner, Site Manager, at nursery on Eola Road

Fermilab will resume a tradition of Arbor Day tree planting on the site on Friday, April 30. At noon on Arbor Day, more than 200 trees and shrubs will be ready for planting around Sauk Circle in the Fermilab Village. All employees and visiting experimenters and their families are invited to join the planting project. Bring your own shovel. For those needing transportation to the village, taxi service will be in operation.

The 1976 plantings will enhance Sauk Circle, now being developed as a residential community for short-term research visitors at the site. Sauk Circle features the large white farm houses moved there from other parts of the site.

Arbor Day was first held at Fermilab in 1969 when the laboratory offices were housed in the Village. The first trees planted were those in the field east of the present Users Center. Several locations in the Village have fine stands of trees from those Arbor Days. The grove at the northeast corner of Sauk Boulevard and Batavia Road and the shrubs around the Village Barn are among these. The last Arbor Day in 1973 was held in the open space on the east side of the Aspen East complex.

Arbor Day is just one phase of Fermilab's continuing concern for the preservation of trees on the Laboratory site. This concern was brought into focus again recently by a poem sent to Director Robert R. Wilson lamenting the destruction of a tree during installation of a transformer at Site 50. Dr. Wilson's comments in response to the poem repeat the solicitude maintained by the Laboratory since its inception for the preservation of the natural beauty of the Fermilab site. Major readjustments have occurred several times in the plans for location of the scientific facilities to preserve a stand of native woods.

1973 Arbor Day 1969 Arbor Day 1970 Arbor Day
Other Arbor Days: (L-R) 1973, 1969, 1970

In a continuing program of planting on the 6,800 acre site, Fermilab has planted at least 40,000 trees and shrubs since 1969, according to Site Manager Rudy Dorner. About 15,000 of these are coniferous varieties; about 25,000 hardwoods. The plantings include windbreaks in the Village, plantings on the site boundary on Butterfield Road, plantings to reduce the use of snow fences, and screenings for the railroad siding area. In the past year, more planting was carried out around the Central Laboratory-Cross Gallery and at the base of the reflecting ponds.

The Fermilab site contains several stands of native trees, the largest of which is the "Big Woods," west of the Central Laboratory, which historical accounts report to be the reason many early settlers were attracted to this part of northern Illinois. The Big Woods originally extended north and west of Aurora. Until Batavia was named in 1840 it was referred to as "Head of the Big Woods."

Many of the trees in the Big Woods were precious black walnut. In 1969, a lumber thief cut down several of the old black walnut trees within the Laboratory boundaries and was preparing to haul them away when discovered by a Laboratory staff member. The trees were stored and, two years later, became the decorative panelling in the Auditorium proper and on the ceiling of the Auditorium lobby.

(L-R) J.Kalina, N.Smith, C.Winters putting trees at Wilson Street entrance
(L-R) J.Kalina, N.Smith, C.Winters putting trees at Wilson Street entrance
Glenn Lee surveys unauthorized felling of black walnut trees in 1970
Glenn Lee surveys unauthorized felling of black walnut trees in 1970

Everyone is welcome to join in carrying on Fermilab's Arbor Day tradition on Friday, April 30.

A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR ABOUT TREES AT FERMILAB

March 31, 1976

It has come to my attention by an anonymous poem that a tulip tree was cut down at one of the farm areas to make place for an ugly transformer. I am personally humiliated that this needless destruction occurred at Fermilab - and not a little angry.

We have gone to great lengths, and considerable expense, to work out technical problems so as to preserve the trees at this site. Our trees are magnificent and are among the few beautiful characteristics indigenous to our site. The Accelerator and the Laboratory building were located at the edge of the remnant of the "Grand Bois" that the previous owners had not cut down to make corn fields. We even moved the position of the ring from a "best" place originally recommended by borings, etc., to a position a few hundred feet to the north so as not to destroy the very lovely grove at the old "Girl Scout" farm. You will notice how the Main Ring road near the RF building departs from its geometrical form in order to dodge around several fine trees there. The crazily curving main entry and exit road was staked out by me personally so as to miss those noble oak trees that would have had to be destroyed by a straight road.

What I am trying to say is that we do care. I do not want any tree to be cut down, and expect to be harsh if one is demolished. There may still be cases where it becomes necessary, but I expect then personally to authorize any such exception.

s/ R. R. Wilson                        

The Big Woods ... a priceless heritage on Fermilab's site
The Big Woods ... a priceless heritage on Fermilab's site

 

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 8 No. 17, April 29, 1976

Rudy Dorner and Dave Cosgrove
Rudy Dorner and Dave Cosgrove
Gerry Reid and George Doyle
Gerry Reid and George Doyle
Sam Baker and Larry Coulson
Sam Baker and Larry Coulson
Tonia Nomokonova (L), Sherzod Nigmanov, Vassiliu Nomokonov, Khabiba Nigmanova (front) and Erna Morozova
Tonia Nomokonova (L), Sherzod Nigmanov, Vassiliu Nomokonov, Khabiba Nigmanova (front) and Erna Morozova
Jim Kalina and John Barry
Jim Kalina and John Barry
(Front L-R) Khabiba Nigmanova, Vassiliu Nomokonov, Sherzod Nigmanov, (Back L-R) Tonia Nomokonova, and Erna Morozova
(Front L-R) Khabiba Nigmanova, Vassiliu Nomokonov, Sherzod Nigmanov, (Back L-R) Tonia Nomokonova, and Erna Morozova

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 8 No. 18, May 29, 1976

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ARBOR DAY 1977

Arbor Day 1977 Arbor Day 1977
Arbor Day 1977

Tree-planting day, Arbor Day, was observed at Fermilab Friday. Employees/users added to the site's 250 acres of woodland by planting about 60 crabtrees and shrubs such as forsythia, burning bush and purple plum. The seventh annual observance was sponsored by Site Services. A native American custom, Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1972 and has been observed in Illinois since 1887.

 

Arbor Day 1977 Arbor Day 1977 Arbor Day 1977

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 9 No. 18, May 5, 1977

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ARBOR DAY 1978

On Arbor Day 1978, Chinese visitors helped Fermilab employees, including Director Robert R. Wilson and Deputy Director Edwin L. Goldwasser, plant trees
On Arbor Day 1978, Chinese visitors helped Fermilab employees, including Director Robert R. Wilson and Deputy Director Edwin L. Goldwasser, plant trees