>Planting Life in West Philly

>by Nicolle Morales Kern

Earth Week 2009 engaged the Drexel community in ways to incorporate green ways into everyday life.

April 25 was no different when the Community Alumni Network of Drexel University (CAN DU) partnered with University City Green (UC Green) to plant trees in the West Philadelphia neighborhood. Malcolm X Park on 52nd and Pine Streets was the host of about 336 alumni and undergraduate volunteers from Drexel and the local community who came to beautify the park.

Photo:Drexel Alumni Sheila Dhand and Katrina Daniels finish planting a tree.

Drexel students from organizations such as the Sierra Club, Delta Zeta sorority and University 101 class met in the Quad at 8 a.m. for registration and breakfast before taking buses to the park. Trees were planted until noon, when a buffet lunch of pizza and tacos was provided for all volunteers. Following lunch, Malcolm X Park was cleaned up as well.

Tucker Faherty, a freshman studying civil engineering, participated in order to receive CCE credit for University 101, but it was not his first time getting dirty to help the environment.
“I do landscaping over the summer at Hershey Park that includes planting, mulching, and watering,” Faherty said.

Sue Pringle, executive director for UC Green, said that CAN DU approached the organization to plan the event.

“We work a lot with Drexel students who make a point of coming out to tree plantings to have fun and fulfill community service hours,” said Pringle.

Altogether, 102 trees were planted throughout the park and the streets of West Philly. As a part of the TreeVitalize program, homeowners can apply to have a tree planted in front of their house. After the type of tree is determined, private contractors are sent out to cut the ground.
Pringle said that throughout the whole week, 1100 trees had been planted and for the following weekend another 100 were scheduled to be given new homes.

“I think this weekend was a great success. It’s wonderful for the community,” Pringle said of the Earth Day Project.

*While this article doesn’t concern travel, it was a part of a class asignment

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