|December 4, 2003
Volume 34 Number 6
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
Sorority Plants Trees as Restitution
Twenty-five women from Gamma Phi Beta planted 120 valley oak seedlings at the Valley Unit of the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve on Nov. 16. The sorority members dug "five dollar holes," mixed in compost, and mulched the new plantings. They also cleaned up trash along the site.
"We have a slogan at the preserve that it is better to put a fifty cent plant in a five dollar hole, than a five dollar plant in a fifty cent hole," said Mark Stemen, assistant professor, Geography and Planning. "Digging a five dollar hole gives volunteers the time to think, both about the effort needed to repair environmental damage, and, hopefully, about ways they can live that are less damaging and thus require less repair."
The sorority planted trees as part of a community service requirement; every Gamma Phi Beta member was ordered to perform five hours of community service after several members admitted to damaging palm trees around Chico in September.
Stemen supervised the plantings and was assisted by preserve restoration manager Kimberly Klementowski and student assistants Brandon Gowdy and Ryan Bordin. "We provided the trees, the tools, and lunch," Stemen said. "If everyone gave this much back when they made a mistake, it would be a wonderful world."
This planting, the first of three planned at the preserve is just off Hwy 99. The planting site is visible to northbound drivers, off to the right as they cross Butte Creek.
This was the first of three plantings planned at the preserve. The next two will on the Honey Run Unit of the preserve at 1200 Honey Run Road on Dec. 6 with the California Native Plant Society, and on Dec. 13 with a group of CSU, Chico students. The groups are restoring riparian oak woodlands that have been damaged by mining, first for gold, then later, gravel and sand.
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