SGA to help Marywood restore its arboretum status


Photo credit: Jeremy Stanton

Justin Kucharski, Editor-in-Chief

Marywood University’s Student Government Association (SGA) is planning to take steps toward restoring Marywood’s status as an arboretum.

SGA President Alexis Palys said that according to Marywood’s Director of Buildings and Grounds Wendy Yankelitis, Marywood lost its arboretum status after a series of storms, coupled with an infestation of bugs, damaged and killed several trees, forcing them to be removed. Marywood also lost a grant that was used to maintain upkeep of the arboretum.

SGA plans to help restore Marywood’s arboretum status by planting new trees and other plant life around campus. By doing so, Palys said she believes that Marywood’s campus will also become a more inviting place.

“I think that the campus looks so much more inviting when there are students out and about, and it’s lively outside,” said Palys.

According to Palys, SGA’s initial idea was to update some of the signs and plaques located by trees around campus, but after having students come to them showing a desire to have the arboretum status renewed on campus, the project shifted gears.

The project is still in the early stages, but one of the proposed locations to start planting new life is the Art Field.

Although there is no official cost yet, Palys said that Yankelitis predicts it can cost around $6,000 to $7,000 to accomplish all that they want to do. It hasn’t yet been determined where that money will come from, but SGA will vote to determine what portion of their funds they intend to put toward the cause in the coming months.

The project will take place over a long period of time, so Palys said she hopes to get started introducing new plant life to campus when the ground thaws next spring.

This isn’t the first time SGA has tried to give campus a new look. During the spring 2018 semester, Junior Architecture Major Alex Laudone and Student Campus Safety Officer Jason Mandicott created new directories and wooden structures to make Marywood more accessible for new and prospective students.

Palys said that although SGA placed the new directories around campus, the wooden structures intended to display them were not installed and are currently sitting in the maintenance area.

Palys said Yankelitis is trying to find a use for those structures, but the material they are made out of won’t be able to withstand the winter weather, which is why they weren’t put out to begin with.

In addition to creating new directories, SGA also contributed $2,000 toward the creation of the remodeled signs in front of the Liberal Arts Center and Regina Hall, something they are not opposed to doing again, according to Palys.

Palys said she feels optimistic that Marywood will regain its status as an arboretum.

“I know with the drive that we have and how passionate the students are about this that this will be completed. It’s just going to revolve more around the timing and when we can plant the trees,” said Palys.

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