By Sanjana Rajagopal, Apr. 26, 2022
ASI hosted a tree walk at the W.K. Kellogg Rose Garden for Earth Week, on Tuesday April 19. The event consisted of a mini tour of the campus to learn about the different species of trees that inhabit the area in our campus community.
For Earth Week this year, many of the events have been interactive, allowing students to learn information and the benefits of taking care of their planet. The tree walk allowed students to be more educated on the various trees in their area, how to take care of them as well as the kinds of trees the campus harbors.
“We wanted to have students in particular learn more about the benefits of trees,” said Monika Kamboures, the sustainability coordinator at the Office of Campus Planning, Transportation and Sustainability. “We wanted them to know it can help to combat climate change, cool different locations, soil erosion and educate students on the various aspects of what trees do.”
The tree walk also allowed for students to share their knowledge by adding a personal tag to the trees of their choice to explain their importance. While the event helped students learn about the trees in the CPP community, it also helped make the campus eligible to be a Tree Campus for the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees.
The Tree Campus program provides a simple framework for universities to grow their community forests, achieve national recognition and create a campus their students and staff are proud of.
The ways for a campus to be considered for this program is through planting and maintaining trees and involving students in service-learning projects to help educate them about the importance of caring for the environment.
“There are five requirements, there has to be a committee, we have to show we’re taking care of our trees, we have to verify annual expenditures, and we also observe Arbor Day events such as tree planting and have a service-learning project,” said Guillermo Nila the ASI officer of sustainability & transportation. “Essentially what this Tree Campus does, is it’s a way to really show that our campus cares about our trees.”
The Earth Week events were a collaborative effort created between the ASI Bronco Events & Activities Team and ASI student government, along with the help of the office of sustainability, specifically the ASI sustainability officer. Other groups such as the ASI Scuba Dive Center helped with events such as the beach cleanup beautification event.
The various events are meant to be useful and helpful to students in lots of different aspects of sustainability. For example, one of the events allowed students to learn how to make their own oat milk.
“It’s a holistic approach,” said Kamboures. “Students can save money by making something on their own that’s sustainable, and we made sure the events were for what students are interested in right now.”
Now that the events are hybrid, with some being in person and on Zoom, many students have shown curiosity and enjoyment for the different activities planned. The turnout for the events are increasing, especially compared to the past two years.
“I’m very excited that we were able to hold these events in person and on Zoom. It felt that things are becoming a little more back to normal, and to see students on campus again,” said Kamboures. “The turnout for previous years during the pandemic has been really low, and it was nice to see lots of people show up.”
With the events and campaign of Tree Campus, which encourages opportunities to take care of the campus environment, students find these projects important and much needed.
“I think it’s great that we’re getting students involved in learning more about trees, the environment and ways to help our planet,” said Anjali Kasula, a computer information system student.
The tree walk is only the beginning in getting students to understand more about the greenery in their surroundings. The Office of Sustainability has been working on more events to come, to get the whole community involved in taking better care of the environment.
“This campaign is part of a big effort we’re trying to do that we’re working on, to help make our campus more sustainable,” said Nila. “It shows sustainability is something we care about at Cal Poly Pomona.”
Feature image by Sanjana Rajagopal
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