Major Gift for EICC

August  19, 2014

      A landmark in Clinton will soon belong to Clinton Community College and the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. Monday night, college district trustees gave their preliminary approval to accepting the donation of the Bickelhaupt Arboretum.

      Clinton Community College president, Karen Vickers, says the 14-acre arboretum was established in the city in 1970 by Robert and Frances Bickelhaupt. It's an "outdoor museum" of trees, schrubs, ground cover, plants, and flowers. And each year it welcomes more than 25,000 visitors.

      "The Bickelhaupts wanted the Arboretum to be a learning lab and it's a beautiful outdoor learning lab. As they were looking for the next step of what they would do to continue the operations of the Arboretum, it just seemed like a natural step to continue to work with Clinton Community College."

      Vickers says the college and Arboretum have worked together many times - on horticulture programs, continuing education classes, and master gardener programs. Art students often go there to paint.

      It will probably take 4 to 6 weeks to work out the final details of the donation, and then the college will spend the next year planning programs for it. Meanwhile though, the Bickelhaupt Arboretum will be open to the public as usual.