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Campaign for Colorado State

University launches Oval Preservation Fund

December 16, 2011

New fund will provide money to preserve CSU's majestic American elms.

The stand of American elms on the historic CSU Oval is one of the oldest in the United States, with several trees more than 130 years old.A devastating October snow storm that destroyed some campus trees and heavily damaged others has led to the creation of the Oval Preservation Fund.

The storm – the third of its kind in the past decade - was particularly brutal on the historic Oval and its majestic American elms. The Oval was closed for 10 days as crews worked to remove hundreds of broken branches and make safe the walkways that crisscross the famed centerpiece of the CSU campus.

The Oval includes one of the oldest and healthiest stands of American elms in the United States to survive the Dutch elm disease epidemic that ravaged trees across in the country in the late 1960s. Many of the elms on the Oval are more than 130 years old.

While CSU arborists have worked for decades to maintain the integrity of the trees, the University lacks resources to perform proactive, structural pruning that will lengthen the lives of the older trees and help younger trees grow stronger.

CSU hopes to raise $500,000 for the Oval Preservation Fund, an endowment that would generate about $22,500 annually,  as a permanent source of support to ensurethat the Oval remains a vibrant, healthy open space for generations to come. For more information and to donate, visit

Contact: Maggie Walsh
Phone: (970) 491-6231