Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 12, 2014

GC hopes to become 'Tree Campus'

With controlled burn, planting efforts GC hopes to be 'Tree Campus'

GOSHEN – Goshen College students took advantage of the spring weather Friday to do some landscape maintenance on campus.

Students in separate projects held a controlled burn of a prairie field area near Sauder Music Hall and planted trees around campus in order to try and establish it as a “tree campus.”

The city of Goshen has been established as a “Tree City” according to the Arbor Day Foundation and now Goshen College is working for the foundation to recognize it as a “Tree Campus.”

According to Goshen College campus tree advisory committee member Carina Zehr, a senior from Kansas, there are five requirements to become a Tree Campus.

They are:

-Establish a tree advisory committee

-Set a campus tree care plan

-Have a campus tree program with annual expenditures

-Arbor Day observance

-Have a service learning project

Zehr, a double major in environmental science and sociology said that Friday’s tree planting was the committee’s service learning project.

She said the effort to become a tree campus came out of a want to make the campus more sustainable and “green.”

“We’re kind of just saying that we want to take more initiative in how our trees get planted or in planting trees as a whole campus so that the committee includes students, it includes faculty and staff and of course grounds, maintenance crew, people from the Physical Plant Department,” she said.

The committee has established some policies and programs likes replacing any tree that is taken out. “That has sort of been the policy at Goshen, but it has just never been more formalized,” she said.

Joanna Epp, Kansas, sophomore, environmental science major said that the college’s Arbor Day observance will be a joint effort with the city of Goshen’s celebration.

The projects will help make the campus look nicer, as well as get students get involved in helping make it nicer.

“It’s nice to be able to involve students in the care of campus, or at least have an idea of what goes into what makes a campus look and feel great,” Zehr said.

The burn was part of an ongoing project by the school’s environmental department to establish wildflower prairie areas on campus, according to environmental science professor Bill Minter, also the director of land management at Mary Lee.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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