Friends of the Arboretum

The Landscape Arboretum at Winona State University recognizes these individuals as Friends of the Arboretum. Their contributions help to create the beautiful campus that students and faculty experiences each day.

The Friends of the Arboretum provide everlasting education through donations to create the living outdoor classroom our community loves.


Donors to the Arboretum

  • Susan Baloun (in memory of Judy and Charles Schlawin)
  • The Family and Friends of Brooke Baures (in memory of Brooke Baures)
  • Delta Phi Epsilon (in memory of Nicole Zanoni)
  • Facilities Staff (in honor of Heidi and Kevin Ryan)
  • The Family of Derek Harms (in memory of Derek Harms)
  • Tim and Susan Hatfield
  • Gennell Iverson
  • Sandy and Hilary Melville (in memory of Austin Melville)
  • Sigma Sigma Sigma (in memory of Pam Koelsch)
  • Steve Morrison (in memory of Diane Morrison)
  • Phi Theta Chi Sorority (in memory of sorority sisters)
  • Amy Welch and Friends
  • WSU Faculty
  • WSU Students
  • Kenny Wynia


Derek Harms attended WSU from August 2015 to April 2018. To commemorate his love of nature and the outdoors, his family and Winona State University have dedicated these three yellow birch trees in his memory.

Derek’s energy and warmth could light up any setting, and his family and friends lovingly remember his creativity, intelligence and his kindness. In his hometown of Barrington, Illinois, he showed talent and leadership in numerous clubs, activities and sports, earning varsity letters in Track and Field. He was always drawn to nature, and traveled with his family to local, regional and national parks, from the Everglades to the Redwoods.

At WSU, Derek excelled in his studies and also savored Winona’s scenic settings, traveling on OERC excursions and sharing his climbing and paddling skills through their community programs. He hosted a live music show on KQAL, played on WSU’s Ultimate Frisbee team and studied abroad in New Zealand and Australia with the Pacific Challenge.

In his junior year at WSU, Derek was a Commercial Recreation major with a Communications minor. He had detailed plans for his future and legions of loyal friends, when he perished in a snowboarding accident on April 8, 2018.

Derek is missed immeasurably but his memory lives on through WSU scholarships (The Derek Harms Leadership Award and an OERC Travel Award) and three beautiful birch trees on campus dedicated in his name. It is his family's hope that Derek's friends and mentors come together here and find inspiration in this tranquil and meaningful setting.

Other donations were made in Derek's memory to the following organizations: Sierra Club, National Parks, The National Arbor Day Foundation, and The American Eagle Center (for eagle care).

Furthermore, Derek's family has created arbor memorials in his home state of Illinois. A bench surrounded by three dedicated Swamp White Oaks was installed at Citizens Park in Barrington. And in partnership with the Lake County Forest Preserve, The Derek Austin Harms Riverwoods Scenic Overlook at Grassy Lake Forest Preserve was created in Lake Barrington. This elevated overlook includes three Swamp White Oak trees, signage describing the ecological history of the area, and a beautiful view of the wooded Preserve and the Fox River. This overlook is part of an ongoing preservation effort, which reflects Derek's love for all things outdoors. For more information, visit LCFPD.org under Derek Harms Endowed Fund.

“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” --Aristotle