SRU Green Fund grant adds 55 new trees to campus

Tree being planted

A crew from Slippery Rock University's Facilities and Planning Department plant cherry and crabapple trees along the walking trail near Harmony Road. A total of 55 trees from two separate Green Fund grants were planted near Harmony Road and at the Harrisville Building. Photo by Joey Anzalone, senior digital media production major from New Castle.

Nov. 6, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Visitors to Slippery Rock University often marvel at the natural beauty of the scenic 650-acre campus, but two men have a "rooting" interest in making the landscape even more picturesque, as well as environmentally-friendly.

Dallas Cott, assistant director of campus services in the Facilities and Planning Department, and Tanner McCall, a senior safety management major from Union City, co-wrote two proposals seeking grants from the Green Fund to purchase 55 trees that were recently planted on campus.

The first grant for $10,102 purchased trees to be planted near Harmony Road. The trees, including 16 okame cherry trees and 12 sugar tyme crabapple trees, were planted along the campus walking trail.

Cott

   COTT

"The goal was for aesthetics and adding another dimension on the landscape," Cott said. "I wanted something that would show off some blooms, especially with people coming here for commencement or for other campus events in the spring. It's just another thing that attracts people to our campus and makes people feel at home."

In the spring, trees along the walking trail will alternate with both pink and white blooms. There were also 10 Norway spruce trees added near the Gail Rose Lodge.

A second grant of $6,807 purchased 15 trees for the Harrisville Building, home of the SRU's physician assistant program. Most of the trees planted in Harrisville are native to Pennsylvania, such as a trio of sycamore trees, because they are more adaptable to area weather conditions. However, a variety of trees capable of surviving the various elements were selected for SRU's campus both for aesthetics and as an "outdoor classroom" for SRU students and the community to use to identify and learn about varying types of trees.

McCall

   McCALL

The trees, purchased from Cottage Gardens in Hermitage, were planted the last two weeks of October with developed root bulbs. Though the more mature trees will be dormant during the winter, autumn is an ideal time to plant trees to avoid heat stress.

The idea for the Harrisville Building trees came from McCall, who was a student-worker on the grounds crew that cleared the building for renovations after the former elementary school was acquired by SRU in 2016. McCall suggested to Cott that trees would make the site more attractive and provide a buffer between the building and surrounding homes.

"I really didn't understand how grants worked but (Dallas) walked me through it," McCall said. "This was just my way of giving back to SRU."

The Green Fund was established in 2008 after a campuswide vote of University students to allocate money that would support environmental initiatives. Each semester, more than $35,000 is available for projects that can cost up to $20,000, such as recycling containers, electricity-monitor systems and the Slippery Rock Student Government Association's bus transit service.

"It's a practice-what-you-preach mentality," said Jerry Chmielewski, dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science and chair of the Green Fund Advisory Board. "It allows students to implement different kinds of ideas for sustainability."

The Green Fund Advisory Board, which consists of representatives from SRSGA, the general student population, faculty and facilities personnel, reviews anywhere from 2-10 proposals each semester submitted by students, faculty and staff for sustainable-progressive projects, educational programs or activities that promote sustainability on campus and in the community. Chmielewski said that projects must have a cost benefit.

Another recent Green Fund project that was implemented during homecoming was a portable recycling system that was led by Christine Glenn-McHenry, a former hospitality, event management and tourism instructor. The $9,607 grant provided 25 recycling containers, managed by Facilities and Planning, that are easily transported and can be set up at similar events such as VillageFest so that people can more readily identify the appropriate containers for materials that can be recycled and thrown away.

More information on how to submit a proposal for a Green Fund project can be accessed at: www.sru.edu/Documents/about/sustainability/Green_Fund_RFP_Process.pdf

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu