Drone Over The Seed Campus

Davey Tree Builds Training & Research Center in Ohio

May 23, 2022
The Davey Tree SEED (Science, Employee Education and Development) Campus will be the new home to the company's specialized training and research facilities. The company is also adding a third wing to its corporate headquarters.

The Davey Tree Expert Company is building a new science and learning campus — the Davey Tree SEED (Science, Employee Education and Development) Campus in Kent, Ohio. The 170-plus acre property, which formerly housed the Oak Knolls golf course and Franklin Elementary School on State Route 43, will be the new home to Davey Tree's specialized training and research facilities. It is being designed to ensure that Davey continues to attract and retain the most qualified, well-trained and engaged employees possible.

Planned facilities include a 25,000-square-foot training center and associated offices, a 10,700-square-foot indoor climbing center, 18 spans of non-energized utility right-of-way, laboratories and greenhouses, a container nursery and multiple research plots and fields. The training center classrooms will more than double the size of the current classrooms at the Davey Institute across the street at Davey Tree’s corporate headquarters. The classrooms are used to teach many of Davey’s educational and training programs, including the Davey Institute of Tree Sciences (D.I.T.S.) classes, which is Davey’s flagship training program in biological sciences, safety, tree and plant care and management techniques. The anticipated completion of the SEED Campus is 2026. Research and training have started taking place on the property, including tree and shrub plantings on research plots and utility and safety training.

Training and research facilities on the SEED Campus may also include outdoor climbing centers; distance learning facilities; canopy walk, turf/golf fairways and greens; greenhouses, research/diagnostics laboratories; replicated tree plantations; and mature tree, soil ecology and wetland research.

Pat Covey, chairman, president and CEO of the Davey Tree Expert Company said, “For over 140 years, Davey has shown an uncompromising commitment to the training and education of our employees and to giving back to the industry through the support and sponsoring of scientific research that enhances our collective safety, techniques and results as arborists and environmentalists. Our investment in the SEED Campus elevates this commitment to a new level, cements our standing as the thought leader in the green industry and creates a facility that our employees, shareholders and community will all benefit from.”

Dan Joy, executive vice president and assistant to the president, said, “Our vision for the SEED Campus is to be a state-of-the-art research and education center for use by not only our employees, but also to include client interaction, community involvement and educational opportunities for regional institutions and our peers in the green industry.”

“As an employee-owned company, we wanted our employees to help name our new science and learning campus,” Joy added. “So, we announced a naming contest on our employee communications app, DaveyConnect, encouraging employees to share their ideas for a name for the campus. We announced the winning submission — the Davey SEED campus — at our Annual Shareholders’ meeting in mid-May.”

Joy says, “SEED was chosen from the nearly 100 entries because it speaks to Davey’s legacy of science-based tree and landscape care, employee education, and career development. We also appreciated how the idea of planting and nurturing a seed is akin to the recruiting, training and retaining of our workforce, something that is core to the purpose of the SEED Campus.”

Davey Tree is also building a third wing at the corporate headquarters. It is a 38,400-square-foot addition to the already existing corporate building. Construction started in April 2020, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022. The third wing will house office spaces for various corporate service lines and support functions. After its completion, the combined building, consisting of the new wing and completely renovated existing space, will be 80,000 square feet. The addition of the third wing will bring 70 new jobs to Kent, Ohio, and will be a visible symbol of Davey’s commitment to Kent and to the growth that Davey has seen over the last 40 years.

The Davey Tree Expert Company was established in 1880 and it provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada.

Construction on the corporate office, located at 1500 N. Mantua St. in Kent, Ohio, started in July 1984, when Davey had approximately 3000 employees nationwide and revenue of US$ 118.9 million. Employees moved into the original 41,000-square-foot building in June 1985, which was designed in a way that a third wing could be attached to accommodate future growth. In addition to the main corporate office opening in 1985, the company also unveiled the Davey Institute, a separate 10,000-square-foot building consisting of classrooms, a laboratory and a greenhouse, to serve Davey’s science and training needs. Since 1984, the company has grown to over 11,000 employees nationwide and revenue of US$ 1.2 billion in 2021, making it necessary to expand and update the home office.

For more information about the SEED Campus and third wing, click here.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!