University of Oregon

Department of Landscape Architecture

Dennis 'Whitey' Lueck

Dennis 'Whitey' Lueck Whitey Lueck teaches Trees Across Oregon (LA 196) and The Nature of Eugene (LA 410/510) and regularly leads campus tree tours.  He graduated summa cum laude from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in ornamental horticulture, then worked for three years as a horticulturist and landscape designer with municipal parks departments in Sweden, France, and Switzerland.  After his return to the U.S., he completed a Masters in botany and forest ecology at Oregon State University.

In Eugene, Whitey taught first in the landscape program at Lane Community College.  In 1986, he began to offer at LCC field classes in natural history—that took place from the Canadian Rockies to Mexico—and in 2004 opened his own nature-tour business called OUT-OF-DOORS.  He also worked for many years as a consulting horticulturist and landscape designer, specializing in plants native to the Willamette Valley.

In 1997, Whitey co-founded the Eugene Tree Foundation and has been editor of ETF's quarterly newsletter ever since.  He was also instrumental in having outdoor lighting standards included in Eugene's land use code.  His Trains-to-Trees proposal recommends placing the railroad tracks through downtown Eugene in a trench, then covering the trench with a park.

An advocate for "universal access"—as practiced in Scandinavia, where one is free to walk anywhere, including on privately owned land—Whitey has opened his own property to the public.  Visitors come and go as they please, and informative signs address interesting aspects of the design and maintenance of his house and garden.

Since 2006, Whitey has also organized and hosted every winter term a Nordic Film Series—free and open to the public—through the Department of German and Scandinavian.

For more about Whitey, go to