A community tree planting event was a huge hit with more than 60 students, faculty and staff helping plant trees on the east side of campus.
With shovels and good spirits, the campus community jumped into the tree planting project Oct. 14. Overcrowded and diseased trees just south of the high tunnel garden near the soccer fields were removed last spring. These were the replacements: 52 large trees – 2-inch calipers – more than 8 feet tall. Volunteers, organized through the Student Environmental Alliance, were given a tutorial on tree planting by college horticulturalist Jerry Raguse before getting to work.
“I’m amazed so many people would come out on a cold Saturday morning to plant trees,” says Haylee Worm ’19, organizer and SEA co-chair. “It is cool that there are so many different groups of people here that have a passion for the environment. It really demonstrates that they do care.”
Other Student Environmental Alliance members, volleyball players and Circle K members to name a few took the opportunity to volunteer, as well as people who saw advertising for the event and just really care about trees – like Sam Hermann ’21. He was leveling off soil and creating a ridge around a newly planted tree.
“You have to make a wall of soil around the tree to hold the water,” Hermann says.
One of his tree planting partners, Hunter Smith ’18, laughed when he was asked what he learned about planting trees.
“Basically everything I learned about tree planting, I learned today,” says Smith.
Raguse explained a little about each of the seven varieties of trees – bur oak, hackberry, linden, Ohio buckeye, elm, honey locust, and aspen – and how the volunteers should plant them.
Ellie DeVos ’20 and her group of friends worked steadily planting five trees.
“We had five different kinds of trees and we got to learn about them,” DeVos says. “They are also trees that are commonly found here.”
Volunteers said the tree planting party was enjoyable and efficient. In just over an hour, all the trees were planted and the pots stacked to return to the nursery for reuse.