On April, 19, 2008, students in the Arboriculture & Community Forestry program organized and competed in a tree climbing jamboree today in the large trees near the Clark Memorial on Orchard Hill. Eleven students competed in four events: work climb, in which climbers move through the tree simulating pruning tasks; belayed speed climb, in which climbers scramble 40′ up the tree; secured footlock, in which climbers ascend the rope without touching the tree; and throwline, in which climbers set their climbing ropes high into the canopy of a tree.
The students showed great enthusiasm, mutual support, and excellent skills as they undertook each task, while judges (including many alumni) rated their performance. The overall winner was Kyle McCabe, a freshman; Dan Watkins, a junior, took second, and Rich Bailey (sophomore) and Marcy Gladdys (senior) tied for third place. Vendors and tree care companies from throughout New England donated nearly $2,000 worth of prizes, enough that every competitor took home something for their effort. The beautiful sunny day reflected the great spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship of all participants.
Special thanks go to all the students and judges who participated, in particular, Chris Pineau (junior), Dan Cohen (junior), and Marcy Gladdys, for organizing the event. For more information on the Arboriculture and Community Forestry program, contact Dr. Dennis Ryan or Dr. Brian Kane.