Students of California Baptist University gathered by the Kugel April 2, ready to dedicate their morning to making a difference in the community by planting trees around campus for Spring Arbor Day.
CBU is nationally recognized by Tree Campus USA for its commitment to being a green campus, and the goal of this event was to celebrate this acknowledgment and continue to make efforts to contribute to the environment. The event has been running for three years.
Ed Schmachtenberger, manager of landscape and grounds, attended the Spring Arbor Day event to teach the students how to plant trees into the soil.
He said he hopes this event and future events will become major celebrations of God’s creation and teach students a lot about the environment.
“(I hope students gain an) appreciation of what we as people can do to protect God’s creation and how we can mitigate our footprints on the Earth,” he said. “Also, the appreciation of how much hard work goes into maintaining the CBU campus.”
Dr. Bonjun Koo, professor of environmental science, has hosted the event the last three years and said he enjoys interacting with students and encouraging them to be good stewards.
“Deforestation is one of the main reasons why we have so many greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, so planting trees on campus is critical, not only to make a green campus, but to contribute to our environment,” Koo said.
At the event, Koo said he was impressed by how the students demonstrated teamwork and unity when they were planting the trees together.
“We’re close and have a family environment under God,” he said. “That’s why students are so cooperative and work together. That’s what I see as the image of CBU: community.”
The event was the first time Nicole DeFiebre, freshman exercise science major, had planted a tree. She said she really found value in the experience and enjoyed working with a team to plant the tree, despite the many challenges her team faced with the soil.
Though it was time-consuming, she added it was worth it because of the conversations she had with her teammates.
“We switched off shoveling dirt, we took turns jabbing at giant roots and we shared the frustration in those times,” DeFiebre said. “It was a good thing that it took us a while because we got to talk a lot and we talked about the gospel. It was good quality time where we just got to know each other.”
Steven Thorp, junior environmental science major, said he grew up with a passion for the environment and has attended the Spring Arbor Day event all three years as a student.
“People can get a lot done when they have the same goal in mind and it doesn’t matter who they are, where they’re from, or their viewpoints,” Thorp said.