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A 1925 photo of the girl's dormitory on the U of M Morris campus.

A photo taken circa 1925 of the Girls' Dormitory, now UMM's Camden Hall. The dormitory was built in 1912 to house students of the newly opened West Central School of Agriculture.

Holding on to a past: UMM plans for the future

By Matt Gilmore, UMM News Service intern

From eNews, March 4, 2004

Since September 2003, Jason Phelps has collected information on about 675 trees on the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), campus, and the UMM senior estimates that he has another 600 trees to go. Phelps is part of a team of planners and architects that is working on a plan to preserve UMM's historic landscape. "I have learned so much [by volunteering for this project] and will never be able to look at a tree again without trying to identify it," says Phelps, who is majoring in management and social science. "Just this morning on the way to class I walked by a tree and automatically mumbled its common name." UMM received $180,000 from the Getty Grant Program last year to create a preservation plan for its West Central School of Agriculture and Experiment Station Historic District. The 42-acre district, located in the heart of campus, is named on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the most intact examples of a residential agriculture high school still standing in the U.S. Phelps is gathering information such as tree type, height, canopy size (width from one side of the tree branches to the other), condition, and location, and storing it all into a mapping software that can track tree growth and tree condition over time. He says his findings will make it easier and more cost-effective to monitor and maintain the trees in the historic district--some, as old as the buildings around them. UMM administrators will use the preservation plan--a set of written guidelines complete with the history and design intent of each landscape feature--to guide day-to-day and long-term planning associated with the district. The plan is expected to be ready in March 2005. To learn more about the UMM preservation plan project, see the UMM University Relations Web site.

Editor's note: The project coordinators are looking for historic photos and personal stories to add to the plan. If you have memories to share from the years when UMM was the West Central School of Agriculture, e-mail Nancy Pederson at conl0027@mrs.umn.edu or call 320-589-6465.

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