1,000th tree planted on campus for Arbor Day and continued sustainability

Megan Grantham, Campus Editor

“We really want to make sustainability a communal thing, and something that everybody does at John Carroll,” said JCU freshman Caitlin Kenney regarding her work as a sustainability intern through Campus Ministry.

Her work for sustainability was part of the effort to plant the 1,000th tree on John Carroll’s campus Friday, April 26, in honor of Arbor Day. Arbor Day is an international event when individuals are encouraged to plant trees and promote enivronmental issues.

Kenney is a freshman studying psychology with a focus in autism and research, but is very interested in promoting sustainability in the environment, as evidenced by her involvement with many such efforts on campus. She’s the vice president of the Environmental Issues Group, a sustainability intern through Campus Ministry, and she also does work with fair trade efforts as a member of the Fair Trade committee.

“I am a sustainability intern through Campus Ministry, along with Liam Nigro, and so we planned the majority of Arbor Day, especially with the tree planting. There is a separate Environmental Issues Group that was [also] a big participator in this,” said Kenney.

“Our club [EIG] was in charge of planning Green Streak Week, which is what was going on the entire day, and through the sustainability committee, which involves faculty, we discussed having the [JCU] president plant the 1,000th tree to make it a historical thing,” noted Kenney on how the idea was sparked to plant trees on Arbor Day at John Carroll.

Reaching this nature milestone will give the campus some special qualifications, explained Kenney. The sustainability committee is applying for the college to become  a Tree Campus USA. It’s a program that recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage trees and engage students. “We actually have a lot of biodiversity on this campus, with the trees,” said Kenney.

The Arbor Day event began at 11 a.m. “There was a training for planting trees, and then we worked with our landscaping company, Turfscape. They’re very active with John Carroll and a really awesome group to work with. We split up into two different groups, and each group was planting different trees.”

Students, faculty members and other members of the John Carroll Community volunteered in the effort to plant the 1,000th tree.

“We planted trees by Sutowski, Murphy, Pacelli, the John Carroll bust and a couple on the Hamlin Quad,” Kenney said.

Kenney explained the importance of the event. “It’s definitely important for sustainability, to help curb carbon emissions, but also I think it just really set the communal mindset that we are a communal campus, that we care about the earth and care about biodiversity, which is something really cool that can set us apart. Especially on a relatively small campus, the fact that we have about 1,000 on campus now is very awesome.”

The Arbor Day event was just one of many JCU efforts to promote sustainability. To be a part of future events, reach out to Caitlin Kenney or Liam Nigro at [email protected] and [email protected]

“I think a lot of people are very interested in sustainability, but it’s just a matter of ‘How can I participate at John Carroll?’ which is something we are very interested in encouraging,” Kenney shared.