Committee discusses algae in campus ponds
by Adam Hostetter/Sports & Features
Lake Land College has officially received a Tree Campus USA designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation. In order to receive this award, a campus has to meet and maintain five standards: a campus tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditure, a Service Learning project and Arbor Day observance, which was April 25. Receiving this prestigious award helps motivate Lake Land College in its broader sustainability efforts.
The tree advisory committee coordinates many activities on campus as a result. In addition to getting students involved through the Service Learning Project and involved clubs such as the Environmental Club and Veterans Club, they also protect the trees on campus and plant more trees every year. When plans for a new geothermal well field may have meant cutting down some existing oak trees, the well field was moved roughly 10 feet to protect the trees from destruction. Over at the Kluthe Center in Effingham, there is a Veterans’ Site that the club develops, adding trees to it every year.
The committee also discussed in their latest meeting the issue of algae blooms in the campus ponds. Due to fertilizer and parking lot runoff, the south pond has seen an overwhelming amount of algae growing in the water. To combat the issue, an idea of converting certain areas surrounding the pond to wetland habitat was laid out, as well as the area below the walking bridge to the West building. Converting the ground in these places into wetlands would naturally filter out much of the nitrates fueling the immense algae growth, and would be more cost effective over time than the other idea discussed, which was dredging the pond.
As a recognized Tree Campus, Lake Land College also reaches out to the community with students, faculty, landscape management and community members on the committee. To learn more about the committee contact Tom Caldwell. To learn more about the Tree Campus USA program visit http://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/.