WSU Massie Scholarship Applications Open for Student Project at Yakima Area Arboretum

MEDIA: Mary Sanchez Lanier, Assistant Vice Provost, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-8239,

April Seehafer, WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program, 509-335-8239,

PULLMAN, Wash.—Creative Washington State University students have until Nov. 15 to submit an application for a $2,000 scholarship from the Massie Family Endowed Fellowship that will give them real-world experience at the Yakima Area Arboretum (YAA).

Undergraduates from all majors are can choose from seven YAA-defined projects that range, for example, from designing pathways and side trails through what its website calls a 46-acre “urban green space and refuse” to authoring a children’s activity book focused on the educational aspects of the non-profit.

Students could also create a one-week curriculum for the summer Nature Day Camp based on parent/child survey results, assess the impact of apple maggots on hawthorn and crabapple trees, report on a YAA management unit, envision a children’s play garden, or design a multi-purpose outdoor amphitheater.

Real-World Experience Using college Knowledge

“Thanks to the vision of WSU alumnus and long-time YAA volunteer Duward Massie, students across the university have a great opportunity to put their education to use through a real-world, faculty-mentored project,” said Mary Sánchez Lanier, WSU assistant vice provost.

“It is a very unique way for this scholarship recipient to apply skills, knowledge, and creativity to a project while becoming part of the future of the arboretum in central Washington,” added April Seehafer, director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program. Part of WSU Undergraduate Education, it stewards the scholarship.

A Marriage of Passions for WSU Alumnus Duward Massie

The Massie fellowship endowment was created in 2013 by WSU alumni Duward Massie (’52 BS Agronomy with honors) and his late wife, Carolyn, with their children Jennifer (’79 MS Vocational Technical Education and Teaching Certificate), Jill, Jeffrey (’83 BS Civil Engineering), Jessica (Food Science student), and Jody (’90 BA Education and Teaching Certificate).

According to published reports, Duward is a career plant scientist and 40-year YAA volunteer, and his goal in establishing the fund is to “marry the two places he is passionate about—WSU and YAA— in a relationship that will benefit both.”

Known as YAA’s “Dr. Tree-rific,” Duward serves on the YAA Board of Directors.

YAA’s Commitment to Nature, Learning

The Yakima Area Arboretum (YAA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, having been launched in 1967 by 36 regional garden clubs. It features butterfly, rose, iris, Japanese, perennial, dryland, and Xeriscape gardens, and collections with 1,000 specimens of native and exotic species of trees, forbs, grasses, and shrubs, plus natural areas.

It offers nature walks, a wetland trail, a summer day camp, wildlife and birdwatching, gardening classes, a pond, and architectural structures, and is available for weddings and ceremonies, meetings, workshops, fieldtrips, and more.

Located in south-central Washington, the YAA is at 1401 Arboretum Drive in Yakima.