Notre Dame Arboretum Committee

Posted on: November 12, 2013 10:00 am

Staff members from Notre Dame Academy and the Sisters of Notre Dame, recently formed a Notre Dame Arboretum Committee.   Peter Hehman heads the committee.  The committee was formed to care for aging and damaged trees, stressed by disease and high winds after being weakened by summer droughts and winter ice storms.

Members of the tree committee include: Peter Hehman (NDA Facility Manager), Dr. Laura Koehl (NDA Principal), Sr. Mary Lea Paolucci, Sr. Ann Marie Pflum, Sr. Mary Ethel Parrott, Joe Gray (NDA science teacher), Raymond Schlosser (NDA faculty), Jerry Hargett (SND Facility Supervisor) Gayle Frazer (licensed landscape architect), and Steve Foltz (head of the botanical gardens at the Cincinnati Zoo).  Meetings for the newly formed committee are held monthly.

Over the past several months, Sisters of Notre Dame constructed an educational nature trail on the adjoining St. Joseph Heights property.  A tree nursery has already been established between the athletic concession stand and the softball complex.  A number of saplings fill the space, fenced in for protection against deer and other wildlife.

Under the direction of NDA teacher Joe Gray, NDA science students are now actively identifying trees throughout this nature trail and eventually the trail will be lined with plaques of those trees and their native species.  Their GPS locations will be recorded and added to the property’s master plan.  This survey will enable Steve Foltz to advise the committee on additional tree species to include for future plantings.

The committee hopes to access available resources and funding in order to plant at least ten trees a year.  Yearly plantings are anticipated for November and spring.  The first planting on the NDA campus will take place on the hillside property between the parking lot and the exit road to Hilton Drive.  Already memorial or commemorative trees have been planted on both the NDA and Heights properties.    

 Anyone wishing to donate a tree or contribute to the effort may contact Pete Hehman at NDA (, 859-609-9669), or Jerry Hargett at the Sisters of Notre Dame (, 859-392-8105).

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