FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: April 7, 2014
CONTACT: Margaret Light, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Phone: 717-264-4141, Ext. 3179
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Volunteers are being sought to plant more than 300 native trees and shrubs along the Conococheague Creek on the Wilson College campus on Saturday, April 26. The event kicks off “Trees for Tomorrow,” a county-wide effort to plant 150,000 new trees in the Conococheague Watershed.
“Trees for Tomorrow” is a joint initiative of the Franklin County Commissioners and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with funding provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.
“The goal of ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ is to plant 150,000 new trees in Franklin County by 2016 to foster clean water, clean air and a better quality of life for all residents,” said Donna Morelli, director of ACB’s Pennsylvania office.
Wilson College, which is committed to environmental sustainability and has already completed several stream improvement projects with partners such as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, was a likely setting to launch “Trees for Tomorrow,” according to Morelli, who said the Wilson event will be the first of many opportunities for residents and businesses to plant trees as part of the initiative.
Organizers hope to attract 100 volunteers for the April 26 tree-planting, which will begin with registration at 8 a.m. in the parking area behind the Brooks Complex and will run until 3:30 p.m., with a festival atmosphere featuring music, food, student activities, campus tours and remarks by Wilson’s president Barbara K. Mistick, Franklin County Commission Chair David Keller, an Alliance representative and Chris Mayer, program manager of Wilson’s Fulton Center for Sustainable Living, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
All three county commissioners are expected to volunteer at the event. In addition, Brad Evans of Bartlett Tree Experts will be on hand to give away tree seedlings to volunteers.
To register to volunteer, visit www.wilson.edu/trees.
The Conococheague and Antietam creeks flow into the Potomac River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The trees planted on Wilson’s campus — or anywhere in Franklin County — help to improve local water quality, in addition to contributing to the health of the bay.
Planting trees and shrubs along the Conococheague will create a riparian buffer, which helps improve stream quality by filtering runoff and moderating water temperature, according to Wilson’s Edward Wells, professor of environmental studies and director of the ES program.
“The buffer will provide outdoor classroom opportunities our students,” Wells said. “We also plan to install signage that informs the public about stream restoration and educates people about what can be done in every community to improve water quality.”
Volunteers will work in teams, planting native trees and shrubs in pre-dug holes along the Conococheague on Wilson’s McKee Green, a 7.6-acre area that runs adjacent to the creek from behind Lortz Hall to the physical plant building.
After the planting is completed, volunteers will be treated to a free lunch in the Wilson dining hall. In the afternoon, student organizations will have booths offering things like tie-dying (participants should bring a T-shirt), fruit smoothies and root beer floats, food/snacks, T-shirts and face-painting. Other students and/or faculty will be making art and dance. Tours will be given of Fulton Farm, the Brooks Science Complex, stream improvements at Wilson and the overall campus.
For more information, contact Margaret Light, Wilson director of corporate and foundation relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-264-4141, Ext. 3179, or Kim Slaughter, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay project assistant, at email@example.com or 717-737-8622. Or visit the alliance website - https://allianceforthebay.org/ - and look under Events and News.
Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 25 majors and master’s degrees in education, the humanities and accountancy. Wilson is committed to providing an affordable education that offers value to its students beyond graduation.
Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college had a fall 2013 enrollment of 662, which includes students from 20 states and 14 countries. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.