by: Aarron Novak/Editor-in-Chief
If one were to go onto Google Maps and peer around Lake Land’s campus, the area behind the Luther Center would be a stretch of land labeled “Cross Country Trail.” This of course is the now infamous trail of where the trees have gone missing. Last year an investigation of the trail turned up little to no clues about the happenings there. This year, another investigation seemed to turn up nothing. But thanks to Matt Jansen, Director of Physical Plant Operations, the truth can finally be told.
What was once thought to be a plan to install geothermal wells turns out to be an environmentally friendly act being done by Lake Land. The trees that were uprooted were invasive trees according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources who are also lending a hand to replace trees.
Lake Land has begun a great venture by applying Tree Campus USA, which is an organization that is determined to help campuses across the country with their environment. They are dedicated to ensuring that the student body at large gets involved with the environment to help secure a cleaner present and future.
To become a part of this organization, Lake Land has put a long term plan into effect. For starters, the college must address the invasive species on campus and eliminate the problem, which the campus is already on task for. The next couple of steps are slow but will ensure Lake Land’s entry into the organization. Throughout the next couple of years, progress must be documented as new trees are put into the ecosystem.
The plan at hand is to order approximately fifty trees to be planted later this fall so that the trees have the perfect environment to grow in without being watered daily. In accordance with the plan of planting, or transplanting, the process has already started and will be in full swing any time. As a decorative piece, benches will stationed by an actual Eagle Scout throughout the path after the trees are planted there.
Jansen said, “There will be geothermal wells built… but no one knows where right now.” This is in reference to the now false theory that the trail was going to be used for geothermal energy.
Now that the truth is out, keep an eye out on the trail for the new trees and fixtures that will be in place. Soon, the trail will once again be one of the many spectacles that Lake Land has to offer.