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Shepherd volunteers plant trees on campus

ISSUED: 29 May 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd volunteers plant trees on campus)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University's Third Annual Arbor Day Tree Planting event took place Saturday, April 20 with 21 volunteers planting 24 native trees near the retention pond on University Drive.

The planting was made possible by a West Virginia Project CommuniTree grant through the Cacapon Institute. Emily Gilmore, an environmental sciences major who graduated May 4, wrote the grant.

"This was especially gratifying because it was a student-led initiative to apply for this grant," said Dr. Carol Plautz, associate professor of biology and chair of the Campus Tree Committee at Shepherd. Shepherd alumnus Tanner Haid, who is now the urban forestry coordinator for Cacapon Institute, helped guide Gilmore through the grant-submission process and also taught the volunteers how to plant the trees.

"As a Shepherd University graduate, I was very proud to come back and see the quality of projects that are taking place on campus. Theparticipation from both students and staff was excellent," Haid said.

Gilmore, who was president of the Shepherd Environmental Organization, a student organization that promotes environmental awareness, education, and fun green activities, worked with the Tree Committee and Christie Harshman, certified grounds supervisor at Shepherd, to determine the type and location of the trees.

Prior to the planting, grounds crews at Shepherd started the tree holes with an auger and also provided wateringhoses that reached the site from nearby dormitory buildings. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents spent two hours planting and mulching. Jefferson County Solid Waste authority donated a load of mulch, as it has for the last two plantings, and use of a truck.

"It was great seeing the mix of all of the people who came out to help--it wasn't just environmental students, or even just students. The entire tree planting was a great day," Gilmore said.

Twelve flowering trees were planted, including eastern redbud, flowering dogwood, and serviceberry. The other 12 trees were shade and included red oak, tulip poplar, and red maple.

"The trees will provide habitat for wildlife, add aesthetic value to the campus, and reduce stormwater runoff pollution from the parking lots and buildings" Haid said.

Plautz said the planting met two of Shepherd's strategic plan priorities--to inspire student learning and development and to create a beautiful and welcoming campus.

"Shepherd students are leading the way. They are spearheading efforts in their community, and they care about their campus and environment," Plautz said. "Seeing our beautiful row of trees in a line along University Drive is very fulfilling."


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