ISU Criminology students identify ‘Eternal Christmas Tree’ for Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch

BRAZIL – ISU Criminology students used part of a recent fall retreat to investigate and identify an “Eternal Christmas Tree” suitable to greet future law enforcement officers, at-risk kids, young witnesses, and victims of crime each year at the Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch.

“We considered the size, shape, color, and price of various spruce, juniper, and pine trees. We identified the Dwarf Blue Spruce as the perfect specimen,” said Madelyn Brinkman, McHenry, Ill., senior and president of Indiana State University’s Lambda Alfa Epsilon professional law enforcement fraternity.

Brinkman and other ISU students flocked to Yankee Rose Gardens north of Brazil to make their selection on behalf of former Jasper County Sheriff Orville Perry, sponsor of the project.

“Former Sheriff Perry and his wife Linda were pioneer donors toward the purchase of our 62-acre youth training retreat,” said ISYR founder and president John Layton, former sheriff of Marion County. “Sheriff and Mrs. Perry have stayed on-board the project because they understand the importance of mentoring future law enforcement officers, bonding with at-risk kids, and comforting young witnesses and victims of crime.”

ISYR is a non-profit charitable training retreat featuring wooded, rolling acreage and three lakes, said ISYR Executive Director Scott Minier, an ISU alumnus. “When fully developed, our Youth Ranch will offer weeklong leadership camps for teens from across Indiana. Groups like LAE can provide us cadres of counselors to mentor teens about first aid, personal safety, substance abuse, bullying, and cybercrimes. These energetic ISU students will also be ideal to introduce young campers to safe ATV and horseback riding, ziplining, canoeing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and other activities.”

ISYR’s “Eternal Christmas Tree” will be marked with signage crediting both the Perry family and LAE for their efforts. The Dwarf Blue Spruce will be planted to highlight an ongoing partnership between the ISU students and ISYR called “Trees and Trails for Tomorrow.” Earlier this year, the college students kicked off their project by planting 20 fast-growing Thujas with the help of ClayCounty Sheriff Paul Harden and Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse. 

Help “Trees & Trails for Tomorrow”

  • $5 will fund a planting soil kit
  • $10 will fund six fertilizer spikes
  • $25 will fund one 2-foot Thuja Green Giant
  • $50 will fund one 4-foot American Red Maple
  • $100 will fund one 4-foot Eastern White Pine
  • $250 will fund two 4-foot Blue Spruces
  • $500 will fund five 5-foot River Birches
  • $1,000 will fund six 7-foot Weeping Willows

You can donate by clicking here.

ISU is recognized among America’s universities and colleges for public service volunteerism, said LAE’s Vice President Rachel Cailteux, a Clifton, Ill., junior. “We see ‘Trees and Trails’ as a way for our members to give forward not only to ISYR’s young leaders but to future criminology majors at ISU as well. Our goals are to help out and look out for others. After all, that’s what public safety should be all about.”

For more information or to donate to “Trees & Trails for Tomorrow,” go to ISYR’s GoFundMe page, or email or write to the Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, 5325 N. State Road 59, Brazil, IN 47834.