Students Protest the Removal of Trees
Article Written By Hannah Vandegrift
Photo Curtesy of Hannah Vandegrift
This October, students living in Crawford dormitory came home from fall break to find out that the five red maples in front of their dorm had been taken down. It was a shock to many, and some were not happy about it.
“They didn’t tell us they were going to cut down our trees,” said Freshman Courtney Doherty, a resident at Crawford Hall. “We were very upset coming back from fall break. Our privacy is compromised now; Smith and Crawford hall can basically look into each other’s rooms. We also don’t have a nice view anymore, it looks barren and empty.”
Some students decided to take action. The members of the environmental club, Earthbound, put up banners saying “We Miss Our Trees” and “Bring Back Our Trees” in a way to protest the cutting down of the trees.
So why were they cut down in the first place?
“We wanted to create more green space on campus,” said Head of Buildings and Grounds, Mr. Bill Martin. “The trees were causing the area to flood during rain and the ground became a mud pit. We wanted to make it was more useable. Before, it wasn’t useable.”
He noted that the trees were too far apart to use for hammocks and there wasn’t enough room to play frisbee.
Last year, the trees on the other side of Crawford had also been cut down. “That was mainly for safety,” said Martin. “Two trees had already fallen on cars, and we would get complaints all the time about tree debris getting on people’s cars.”
Martin said that the college actually plants more trees than they take down. By the Hawthorne parking lot and on Elizabeth campus, they planted dozens more than what had been there before. They plan to put about six trees next to the area by Crawford, by the small parking lot between Marion and Crawford.
Martin also said that they plan to expand the patio by Crawford by putting in more brick and possibly setting up tables and chairs for more seating area.
“If the students have suggestions for the area or other places, let us know, because we do take student suggestions into consideration,” said Martin.
The signs set up by Earthbound were only up for a couple days until they were taken down. The students understand that they cannot do much about the loss of the trees now, but one of their main concerns was that the trees had been taken down without any notice to the students.
“They should have at least notified students living in our dorm,” said Doherty. “Both of our halls were very upset. We don’t have that nice area to sit by the trees anymore, and it takes a long time for new trees to grow.”
Thankfully, there are plans for the planting of new trees in other areas. The exterior of Crawford has also been since improved with new paint and the removal of much of its outer growths caused by the shade of the trees.