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March 29, 2009

Arboretum work under way at FSU

FROSTBURG — Though the ground was wet and muddy, and it continued to drizzle all day, three biology professors and about 45 students gathered Saturday at the Frostburg State University gazebo to help clean up the school’s Arboretum.

“After you’ve signed in, go ahead and grab a pair of gloves and loppers,” Sunshine Brosi, biology professor, told the students as they prepared to start picking up the trash and weeding out the Arboretum.

Saturday was the first day for the Greening and Restoration for On-campus Watershed Stewardship, or GROWS, program. Students and professors met at 1 p.m. and would be working to clean up the Arboretum until 5 p.m. Later in the week GROWS will be working to build a split-rail fence, marking areas to plant trees and, in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22, planting trees in the arboretum.

At this first gathering, students and professors worked to consolidate brush piles from last fall while others helped clear out invasive, non-native plants or pick up trash throughout the area.

Patricia Lucast, sophomore in ethnobiology, has been very involved with the arboretum since her freshman year.

“It’s really important, and worth it, to come out and help because you learn a lot about the area and the plants that you can find in the arboretum,” Lucast said. “It’s also a really nice quiet and cool place to be able to go and just hang out or take a walk.”

Emily David, sophomore in biology, has also been participating with the arboretum since her freshman year at FSU.

“It’s an important cause and it’s a great way to get extra credit for class,” she said. “It can be a little dirty and hard labor, but it’s not that bad. I know I’d rather be out here cleaning up and working than writing a paper or studying for a test. Plus you get to hang out with friends while helping the environment.”

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