Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let it grow: A Story about Trees

Let it grow: A Story about Trees
By: Katie Pratt
Eastern Redbud, pin oak, willow oak, gingko, red dogwood, blackgum, pink dogwood, and white dogwood are just a few of the tree species that have been planted along Frost and Ormand Streets under the careful eyes of Frostburg Sate Senior Laura Smith. As part of her undergraduate project she wrote up a proposal and received a grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust mini grant for outreach and education, “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with the city and the university to educate people on trees,” says Smith with a grin. After all the trees planted Smith has plans to put small signs on the trees that explain what species they are and how much carbon dioxide they will remove from the air once full grown.

                Students from Dr. Sunshine Brosi’s Forest Ecology and Conservation class, which is taught locally at Frostburg State University, have been participating with the tree planting for the past 3 weeks coming every Monday and planting as many trees as needed. Erika Randolph is one of those volunteers, “I think it’s cool. It’s obviously good for the environment,” says Randolph as she pauses from shoveling a hole for a young Eastern Redbud. “It’s a learning experience as well,” she continues, digging the shovel back into the ground and continuing to widen and deepen the hole. As she carefully pulls the tree out of the pot and begins to pack earth around it she explains that she thinks it’s good for students to be doing this type of work “so the elders don’t think all college students are bad”.

                Though no residents came out this past Monday to investigate what the small swarm of students buzzing up and down the street was about, the trees will be appreciated, and also serve an ulterior motive for Smith who is trying to make Frostburg a contender for Tree City USA (Frostburg State won Tree Campus USA for 2012). Smith is also a part of the Tree Care Commission on campus, which requires the university to do a service learning project among the community. “I think we were supposed to only get 50 trees but they were less expensive than originally thought so we ended up with around 64,” reports Smith happily.

                “It was my idea, but I was lucky enough to find someone to have enough time to work for it,” says Dr. Brosi with a laugh. “The application for tree city will open us [Frostburg] up for more grants,” she explains. As if watching her idea come to life, Dr. Brosi was an intricate part of how everything came together, helping when needed, and bringing the volunteer force need to plant all the trees.

                Not everything went as smoothly as the tree planting process seemed. “There were a lot of layers of Bureaucracy B.S,” Smith finally admitted with a laugh after being teased by Dr. Brosi. In the end, overall she seemed happy with the work accomplished, and smiled and joked with volunteers who were also classmates as the trees were placed into the ground one by one.   

No comments: