Monday, April 30, 2012

UIS students plant Arbor Day trees in Carpenter, Gurgens parks

More than 200 University of Illinois Springfield students Friday found that it’s easier being green than Kermit the Frog would lead us to believe.

As part of UIS’s Springfest celebration and to commemorate Arbor Day, the students planted 3,500 native saplings in open spaces at Carpenter and Gurgens parks north of Springfield.

“We had 550 students registered for Springfest, and this is a service project part of it where the students accumulate points for their teams,” said Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

Although the parks are forest preserves, large areas in them lack trees. The planting of pin oak, red oak, white oak and black oak saplings, as well as shagbark hickory trees, will help reclaim about 10 acres of open land.

The planting project provides a valuable service to the Springfield Park District while teaching students about sustainability and engaging them in environmental responsibility.

“I’m a biology major and I like the environment,” said Francisco Mendez, a UIS senior from Mexico. ”It’s nice to help out.”

The volunteer effort was featured in an April  28, 2012, article in The State Journal-Register.

Read the article online