Conservation Council Minutes

Conservation Council minutes

March 4, 2010

Present: Louise Gava, Amanda Lavigne, Matthias Nevin, Lindsay Guerin, Catherine Boulatoff and Ben Ross.

Ben was invited to join us to discuss trees. His Senior project is on creating on planting trees on campus.

3p.m. The meeting started by discussing old business:

  • Anti-idling policy. Louise explained that the name of the policy was renamed "reduced anti-idling". Buildings and grounds has until March 15th to review and respond to the proposal (Louise)

Discussion started on what needs to be done next: what signs for vendors need to be put , etc.

  • Garden issue. Amanda asked if we needed to revitalize the issue. This is be discussed during our next meeting.
  • Planning for Ground Forum. Matthias was given the dates of Sunday, March 28 and Monday, March 29 for having the forum in the Winston room. It was agreed that these dates are too early to be ready on time.

The open forum is to raise awareness on faculty, staff, and students on what is currently being done to make the campus grounds more sustainable, and to inform everyone of the directions taken by Marcus that move SLU toward a more sustainable campus.

The timeline to keep during Spring break to keep things moving were highlighted:

a)      What special points do we want to bring out?

b)      Who should be on the panel? The panel should include individuals from the faculty, Staff, alum/ community member, and student. Suggestions included: Tom Coakley, Brad Baldwin, Karl Schonberg, or/ and someone from the broader community, such as Charlotte Ramsey. Marcus may also have some suggestions (for example, the person on the crew who picks up trash on Friday morning).

  • Arboretum or tree walk. The idea is to make people feel welcome on campus.

Louise mentioned her discussion with Kathy Craig, who is working with high school students on a project. They get to pick out five (5) types of trees that would be nice on campus. They were also picking the spots on campus where they should be planted.

We acknowledged that to make an arboretum requires a considerable amount of work. Different individuals are needed to make it a successful project; someone from biology, psychology, design...

Ben then talked about his senior project with Jon Rosales. Stage 1 is to create a sustainable woodlot on ESL property, using black locusts, and interspacing them with oak trees. Stage 2 is to plant more from the nursery (spruce, pine, locust). They will need to be transplanted. One hope is to have the trees ready to be cut by the time the boiler breaks down.

One question asked was whether SLU should grow its own trees (nursery) to replace current trees on campus.

One idea which spruced up was to have the Conservation Council sponsor a tree planting day.

Besides the Ben's project, it was mentioned that Jon Rosales and his class are already planting trees, as well as EAO on Earth day (April 2).

Maybe the planting day sponsored by CC could be a joined event with Arbor day. Or at least CC could piece together the different activities. Suggestions of activities included a "scavenger hunt" for elementary kids, or/and for students, "offering trees to community members", and a "hug a tree" event.

It was duly noted that DEC typically donates 53 trees. Amanda offered to contact DEC to see what they could offer.

Louise informed us of several things happening on campus:

  • Marcus is now reducing the use the Round-up, and instead is using lemon oil (also cheaper)
  • Sue Powers is looking for students to represent SLU to talk to high school students about environmental programs on campus at the Youth Energy expo. One potential problem is that this would take place on a Wed. from 10 a.m. to noon, that is when most SLU students are in class.
  • Students are also needed to entertain high school students. Example: using Amanda's thermo camera, or a bike generator. Amanda will contact Sue Powers.

Tasks given at the end of the meeting:

  • Get date for panel (Matthias)
  • Talk to Karl about Arboretum (Matthias)
  • Print tree walk from other schools (Matthias)

+  Erik Cooper (Amanda's advisee) looked at the creation of a special fund for environ./ sustain. Projects. He found out that such funds are relatively common in other colleges.

4 p.m. the meeting was adjourned.