UFT students plant for the future on Fleming’s 50th anniversary

tree-planting

To celebrate Fleming College’s 50th anniversary, Urban Forestry Technician students Jessica Carthy and Tyler Petersen wanted to make a positive impact on the next 50+ years. After winning the Green Your Campus pitch competition, the students used the $1500 prize money to plant trees at Frost Campus.

“50 years is a long time if you ask me,” said Jessica. “Imagine what the 100th anniversary could be like if we plant more!”

Jessica and Tyler’s Green Your Campus pitch was to plant trees on campus in honour of Fleming’s 50th anniversary. The competition was co-hosted by Fleming’s Office of Sustainability, FastStart and the Trent Green Team, and featured 10 Fleming groups and 25 groups from Trent University. Projects were judged by Fleming and Trent faculty based on presentation and potential effect on meeting the college’s sustainability plan goals.

“It’s important to be staying just as green as we are gray,” said Jessica, who said her peers and professors air spaded and lifted a Kentucky Coffeetree last fall to another spot on campus to save it. “Planting trees is one of the best possible ways to help our environment. If there are trees, the insects, birds and animals will follow.”

Jessica and Tyler are increasing the tree diversity on campus with the help of Technologist Brian Saxon, using trees native to Canada and different from the existing inventory.

They decided to make the first trees planted extra special by planting them in honour of faculty members Katrina Van Osch-saxon and Tom Mikel, recognizing their excellence in teaching and passion for environmental studies. Jessica, Tyler and their Urban Forestry Technician classmates planted two Red Oak trees for Katrina and Tom because the species is hardy, native to Canada, and will thrive at Frost Campus.

Katrina thanked the students on behalf of herself and Tom at the Women in Trees event on Saturday, April 22. “We know it’s going to be planted right and pruned well,” said Katrina. “150 years from now they’ll be the two nicest trees on campus.”

Jessica said they are going to stretch the $1500 as far as possible, but hopes this idea can be used by other campuses as well. “We would love to see that more trees are planted to celebrate because future students will thank us for it,” said Jessica.