Steve Smith, kbw1066@gmail.com

I am a 1975 Miami University graduate and still enjoy walking around the campus when I am in the area. Even as a freshman, I always loved the way the trees seemed to define the campus and make it what it is.

The University of Cincinnati and many other campuses are more like urban wastelands compared to Miami’s campus with its open green areas, shaded by the big oaks and other mature trees.

Recently, I spent about five months in Hamilton and had the opportunity to visit the Oxford campus a number of times. After the second visit, I began to notice that the number of trees seems to be less than before. In particular, I was impressed with how “vacant” the area in front of Harrison Hall looked.

Up until recently, it was difficult to see High Street from Harrison, for all the trees. Now, it seems that the old trees that are dying are not being replaced. While that may not seem like a catastrophe, it will be by the time my grandchildren are old enough to attend Miami.

As old trees die, are blown down or otherwise removed, new ones must be planted in their place in order to keep the beauty of the campus and maintain the atmosphere that has always surrounded it.

The trees that are presently on campus are clearly not the original ones from when the campus was founded. They have been planted to replace dead ones or supplement the ones that were already there. Some of the present “old” trees were planted when I was a freshman.

In short, I was disappointed to see that the campus administration seems to have lost the “vision” of what Miami should look like. Without its great, grand shade trees, Miami could become just another campus with no personality – just grass, buildings, concrete walkways and asphalt parking lots.

Please don’t let that happen. If each dorm, fraternity, sorority and campus organization could plant just one tree on campus, it would make a tremendous difference in the appearance and atmosphere that has always been Miami.

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