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UMaine Today Magazine

First Impression from the President

President Robert A. Kennedy
President Robert A. Kennedy

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The campus landscape is one of the University of Maine's most important assets. From its natural beauty, we draw inspiration. Such a living laboratory provides a learning and research environment for students and other members of the university community, as well as the public. As part of UMaine's identity, the horticultural landscape ties parts of the campus together. It also links campus past and present, carrying forward echoes of UMaine's proud land-grant heritage and its roots in campus planning by Frederick Olmsted. The campus landscape reaffirms that, indeed, we're in a great place.

Two recent initiatives in our community are enhancing this natural resource. UMaine's Campus Arboretum and Beautification Committee is developing plans to manage our entire landscape as an arboretum. This exceptional group, led by Professor of Plant Systematics Christopher Campbell, has a vision for enriching the plant diversity and sustainability of UMaine's gardens and green spaces as part of the campus master plan. A goal is to create and enhance outdoor areas for the enjoyment of constituents on and off campus, further raising awareness of the intrinsic value of such a living laboratory.

The committee's work meshes with a concurrent effort, the UMaine Campus Heritage Project. Funded by a prestigious Getty Grant, this initiative incorporates into campus planning historic preservation efforts and research related to landscape design. The project, directed by Associate Professor of History Martha McNamara, also involves an educational component featuring a lecture series and on-campus displays related to this university's rich history. Through these efforts, UMaine will become a modern-day reflection of the important planning that went into creating and developing the campus.

I believe these efforts to focus attention on the landscape and on preserving our links to the past will serve the university and Maine well. UMaine's inherent beauty will become an even more valuable resource for students, employees and visitors.

I hope you will have the opportunity to visit our campus this summer, to enjoy the landscape as it exists and to consider for yourself how it will grow as a statewide treasure in the future.

Robert A. Kennedy Signature

UMaine Today Magazine
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