Bulb Planting Strengthens St. Mary's Arboretum Association's Roots

With shovels, augers, or trowels in hand, about 35 students joined Lesley Urgo, member of St. Mary’s Arboretum Association, around campus on Friday, Oct. 28 to plant daffodil bulbs, wrapping up the College’s events for Sustainability Week.

Along with Urgo, Sustainability Coordinator and Facilities Planner Luke Mowbray helped plant the bulbs with students in the various locations on campus.  Starting on the Campus Center patio at 2:30 p.m., groups spread out to gardens by the Library, Health Center in Chance Hall, Goodpaster Hall, the Michael P. O’Brian Athletics and Recreation Center, Glendening Hall, and by the tennis courts to begin planting.

“I like to see the beautiful colors of the flowers around campus,” said Urgo, who also planted over 400 bulbs last fall. “I would love this place to explode with daffodils in the spring.”

Sophomores Brett Williams and J.J. Eckert were required to help with planting for their Environmental Perspectives class.  “Even though it’s a class requirement, I don’t mind.  I’m excited to see them in the spring.  It’ll be cool to look at them and be able to say ‘I did that,’” said Williams.

Other volunteers like junior Andrew Koch came to simply help out the college.  “I’ve had experience in landscape work before, so I thought I could help out the campus and it looked interesting,” he said.  “Next spring, we’ll hopefully see the fruits of our labor.”

Since the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association was founded in August 2010, campus sustainability events have been happening on campus.

Besides the bulbs planted last fall, Urgo led the renovations of landscaping around the Prince George and Dorchester Hall buildings last November along with about 50 student volunteers.  According to Urgo, new sod was put down as well as the planting of new trees, daffodils, and other flowers.

Last spring, a healing garden was planted by the Cobb House as well as 25 new trees planted around campus by Arboretum members and student volunteers as a part of the college’s first ever Arbor Day series of events from March 22 to 25 and in preparation for President Joseph Urgo’s inauguration on March 26.

March 26 was also the ribbon cutting ceremony in the remembrance garden by Kent Hall to celebrate and officially kick off the start of the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association.

Other campus groups affiliated with the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association include the Community Garden Club, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, Eco-Reps, the Sustainability Committee, EcoHouse, and the St. Mary’s Watershed Association.

Upcoming St. Mary’s Arboretum Association events include “The Healing Powers of Gardens” on Nov. 5 with guest experts MJ Raleigh, director of counseling services, and Alex Kampf, tai chi practitioner and also tree planting around Schaefer Hall, Parking Lot R, and Waring Commons on Nov. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.

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