More than 40 students braved the unseasonably cold April temperatures on April 15 to take part in a reforestation project on Hamilton’s golf course. Working under Hamilton’s Sustainability Coordinators, the students planted 500 seedlings on three acres of the old golf course off Campus Road. This was a completely student-organized event, with the help of Physical Plant’s Don Croft and Brian Hansen.
Sustainability coordinators said, “We want this event to set a precedent for giving old, unused areas of campus land more sustainable futures. After the new golf practice course is established, there will be more unused areas of the golf course that can be reforested.” The 2 to 3-year-old saplings planted represented a variety of native species and came from Pikes Peak, a nursery in Pennsylvania.
The idea for a golf course reforestation was first discussed during the summer of 2016 when Emma Karsten ’18 and Olivia Shehan ’18 were Sustainability interns. As part of their work that summer, they drafted a report of the cost/benefits of such an event. This idea then came to fruition as the Sustainability Club grew in numbers and built a stronger relationship with Physical Plant.
The students said they will see the results of their pollinator garden test plots this spring, and hope to create more pollinator gardens in more visible areas around campus starting this summer. Ultimately, they’d like to create more areas on campus that do not need carbon-, labor-, and chemical-intensive maintenance, and instead create habitats, recreational areas, and overall improve campus sustainability.