WOOSTER, Ohio On Sept. 16, a devastating tornado hit Ohio State Universitys Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, ravaging the centers Secrest Arboretum.
The tornado rated at EF-2 on a scale of 0-5 with winds of up to 130 mph leveled about a quarter of the 120-acre arboretum, including a just-opened visitor pavilion, display gardens and more than 1,000 trees. No one in the arboretum or on the main OARDC campus was seriously injured.
Some of these trees were over 100 years old, said Bobby Moser, dean of Ohio States College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, of which OARDC is the research arm. Ã¢â¬ÅThey were planted by Edmund Secrest (the arboretums founder) himself. Its heartbreaking to see this devastation.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, on a tour of the damage two days after the storm, told Moser, Weve got to replant and hope that 100 years from now, people will stand back and say, Ã¢â¬ËSomebody did the right thing.
Give us time, Joe Cochran (no relation to Ken), the arboretums operations manager, said. Ã¢â¬ÅWell have it looking nice again. Well get it done.
Arboretum Program Director Ken Cochran said cash gifts of any size are welcome. Gifts for memorials and for honoring individuals can be arranged. All gifts are tax-deductible.
Individuals, foundations and corporations interested in donating to the arboretum can do so online at http://www.giveto.osu.edu/secrestfund.
One hundred percent of all gifts to this fund will go directly to the arboretums renewal efforts.
Donations can also be made by mail. Send checks payable to Secrest Arboretum, fund #308772, to: Secrest Arboretum Fund, OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691.
Volunteer opportunities will be identified shortly.
The arboretum remains closed to the public at least until Nov. 1.
For more information, call 330-464-2148 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 30 -