Merced College events include Constitution Day

School has just started, but Merced College already has a lot going on.

The college plans some changes, an event and other offerings today and in coming weeks, according to officials:

Tree removal

The college plans to remove about 80 trees from the campus along M and G streets north of Yosemite Avenue.

A grant from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will cover the cost of removal, according to a news release, and the trees are expected to be replaced when money for them becomes available.

“These particular trees have been pruned back for many years, as they are under the power lines,” said Joanne Schultz, vice president for administrative services, in the release.

Eucalyptus trees near the campus farm will also be removed, the release stated.

Merced College is forming a campus master landscaping plan to use less water and create sustainable landscaping, according to Schultz.

Bryan Tassey, a professor of landscape horticulture, said the college plans to replace the trees through funding from donations and through the Tree Partners Foundation, a Merced County-based group that seeks to protect, enhance and maintain trees.

“Our horticulture program is also collecting acorns from 20 different species of oaks on campus to be potentially worked into the master landscape plan for little to no cost to the district,” Tassey said in the release.

The drought will put those plantings on hold, though, the release noted.

To learn more about the tree removal program, call the Merced College Office of Institutional Advancement at (209) 381-6470.

Constitution Day

The college’s library staff is giving away copies of “U.S. Constitution and Fascinating Facts About It” to the first 200 visitors to the library today.

Several library displays will also celebrate U.S. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and the staff will offer an online bibliography of resources on the Constitution.

U.S. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on Sept. 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on that day in 1787.

For more information, call the Merced College Learning Resources Center at (209) 384-6080, or go to the Library of Congress website at

Child development

Merced College has been awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant to provide support for its Child Development Center.

The Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant will provide $872,548 to support the center’s continuing program of providing child care services to low-income parents striving to continue their education. The money funds the program for the next four years.

“The project will support and increase the capacity for infant and toddler care services for parents who are attending Merced College,” said Cherie Davis, the college’s director of grants development and institutional research.

About 50 percent of the children served at the center are age 3 or younger. Of the college students served, 98 percent qualify for subsidized child care services, and 96 percent are Pell Grant eligible.

For more on the program, call the center at (209) 384-6245.