Hidden Valley may be a bit off the beaten path, just a short walk from campus. But a recent beautification project and its implications for learning may make Heidelberg’s home soccer field feel more connected to the main campus.
That is the intent of Dr. Brian Haley, head men’s soccer coach, who approached professors Dr. Susan Carty and Dr. Amy Berger about assisting with aesthetic improvements to the area. Late last semester, about 25 students joined Haley and Carty to plant 16 trees around the perimeter of the field. Down the road, creation of a wetland area is planned.
The 14 species of trees are native to Ohio – trees like the buckeye, the beech, the linden, the sweet gum and three species of oak. The students, representing the soccer team, Alpha Phi Omega service honorary and some biology classes, assisted with design, prepping the area, turf removal and ground prep, cage cutting, the actual planting of seedlings and mulching and installing cages.
As the trees mature, Haley said the trees will create a “homegrown biological field site” for use by Heidelberg students. Additionally, they will create an aesthetic appeal as a backdrop to the soccer field.
“My hope is that everyone will look at Hidden Valley and recognize it as part of the campus,” Haley said. “It needs to be seen and connected to the campus. It’s got a lot to offer the campus community.”
The tree project is part of the overall Hidden Valley Vision Project, developed by the Heidelberg soccer coaches to improve the complex for student-athletes, fans and alumni.