CSU, Chico News

Students Volunteer for 'Blitz Plant' in South Chico

Date: 11-03-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Mark Stemen, professor
Department of Geography and Planning

Geography and planning and construction management students from California State University, Chico will plant 32 trees in two south Chico neighborhoods on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to noon. Trees will be planted near the Butte County Housing Authority project at 1172 Humboldt Ave. and at the Torres Community Shelter at 101 Silver Dollar Way.

Known as Blitz Plant, the project is being completed as mitigation for the removal of an oak tree during last spring’s Blitz Build community service project at the corner of 8th and Salem streets in Chico. During that event, CSU, Chico construction management students and community volunteers built two duplexes in nine days for the Salvation Army to be used by families in transition.

Students in GEOG 506: Community Service in Geography have been researching planting sites and species as part of their assessment of Chico's urban ecology, said geography and planning professor Mark Stemen. Construction management students Erik Anderson and Cameron Keith will lead about 60 student planters, who will work in teams to place the trees along the sidewalks in those neighborhoods.

Most of the trees and planting supplies were purchased by the Salvation Army as part of the mitigation agreement; Mendon’s Nursery in Paradise and Floral Native Nursery in Chico also donated several trees. Varieties include Marina madrone (strawberry tree), Rocky Mountain glow maple, autumn purple ash, crepe myrtle, California sycamore, willow oak and valley oak.

Stemen called the project a model of university and community cooperation.

"Projects like the Blitz Plant allow our students to deepen their understanding of their other academic studies,” he said. “This mitigation tree planting encourages construction management students to contemplate how their specific building project impacted the larger human and non-human community, and asks geography and planning students to wrestle with the internal conflicts inherent in abstract ecological ideals."

Learn more about CSU, Chico’s Department of Geography and Planning at www.csuchico.edu/geop.