Student Senate, Facilities Work Together to Replace Favorite Tree
June 24, 2014   //   By:   //   Campus & Community, Campus and Community

New Magnolia Tree at Elizabethtown CollegeThis year’s harsh winter had an effect on the campus landscape at Elizabethtown College, but it was the loss of one particular tree that upset members of the campus community.

The pink blossomed magnolia tree next to Zug Memorial Hall was estimated to have been around for 50 years and was often said by many to be a favorite spot on campus. After two consecutive ice storms, the tree was severely damaged. Many of the main limbs were broken off or were significantly cracked. An arborist, brought in to assess the tree’s condition, determined that it was not salvageable.

“Our class began to hear how the removal of the tree was upsetting for many students and faculty. Even alumni were upset … because they remembered the tree, particularly when it blossomed in the spring,” said Erik Cianci, former class president for the class of 2016.

He said the class originally had the idea to use the remaining 25-percent profit from the Color Classic to replace the tree.

“…however, we realized that this project was bigger than just our class,” said Cianci, of the spring color run, a fundraiser sponsored by his class that donated 75 percent of the profits to a local charity. “So instead of paying the lump sum, we asked for a 25-percent commitment from each class of Student Senate (2014, ’15, ’16, ’17) to which every class agreed.”

…the removal of the tree was upsetting for many students and faculty. Even alumni were upset … because they remembered the tree, particularly when it blossomed in the spring…”

The Student Senate reached out to Facilities Management about the idea to replace the tree, and the office was thrilled that students wanted to help. Facilities suggested purchasing the replacement tree from Gault Nursery in Conestoga, Pennsylvania, which already had a working relationship with the College.

“There was a significant movement by the student body to raise funds to replace the magnolia with the exact species that was removed,” said Mark Zimmerman, director of Facilities Management. Alumni Relations also helped to collect funds for the replacement.

The classes raised $2,000 and Facilities Management funded another $1,800 out of its tree-care account. This enabled the College to quickly get a replacement tree of comparable size.

“By the time this idea was approved by all participating members and administration there was less than two weeks before the start of summer break,” said Cianci of the end-of-April plant date.

“It was important for us to have the tree planted before everyone left….”

About the Author :

Kelly Moore is a senior mass communications major with a studio art and graphic design minor. She is involved with ECTV-40, WWEC 88.3FM, The E-Team, Emotion, and is a staff writer for The Etownian and E-Town NOW.

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