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Oct.1, 1999
Volume 37, No. 4


Take a hike! Into the University's rich history
Education a top priority for Wichman
Carver: A man in tune with his work
Translating research into patient care
Goodbye OASIS, hello Aleph

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Take a hike! Into the University's rich history

This marker in front of Macbirde Hall informs heritage walkers that for its first 40 years the building served as the University's library. Photo by Meghan Nichols.  
If you’re one of those driven types, who can’t imagine actually just walking around, admiring the fall colors, have we got a deal for you. Thanks to the efforts of the 1997 Sesquicentennial Environmental Projects Subcommittee, it’s possible to combine "leaf-looking" with an opportunity to learn about local flora, geology, and architecture. And if you’re someone who knows how to relax, or are new to the campus and want to brush up on your UI history, the Heritage Walk can be done at your own, leisurely pace.

In 1997, as part of the UI Sesquicentennial, a group led by campus planner Larry Wilson designed the Heritage Walk guide to inform people about some of the oldest and most unusual trees on campus. The guide also lists the sites of 19 plaques, gifts from the Alumni Association, commemorating some of the University’s historic events. The guides are available for no charge at the Natural History Museum in Macbride Hall and the Old Capitol Museum. They outline a walk on the Pentacrest and one south of the Pentacrest, in an area that includes both the east and west sides of the river. Each requires about 90 minutes of "casual walking time."

Some changes will be in evidence to walkers as they consult their guidebooks. Several of the large, old trees on the Pentacrest were destroyed in the damaging windstorm of June, 1998. While there was significant tree loss, it did open up areas for better vistas of the buildings as had been recommended in the 1991 Pentacrest Master Plan. Tree replacement, based on those recommendations, was completed this fall.

According to Vince Nelson, executive director of the Alumni Association, about 20 more campus sites have been identified for additional historic markers.

"We’re working with Facilities Services Group to get approval for placement and to get concrete pads poured for the markers," Nelson says. The group hopes to have the next 20 markers in place by June 2000.

Article by Linzee Kull McCray

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