GOSHEN — There were smoke and flames on Goshen College’s campus Friday, April 11, but don’t worry, it was all under control.
The college had a controlled burn and tree planting at 1 p.m. The burn began in the field between the music center and the physical plant, and students met in the College Mennonite Church parking lot near the recycling dumpsters to plant trees on the south end of campus.
Goshen College has worked in recent years to restore several acres of lawn to native landscaping. Part of that initiative is simulating naturally occurring fires by establishing a controlled burn. The burns help control weeds and allow native plants to develop, according to the college.
The Goshen College Ecological Stewardship Committee is working to make Goshen College a “tree campus,” similar to the “tree city” concept started by the Arbor Day Foundation. To become a “tree campus,” the college must meet five standards, including the formation of a tree advising committee, the development of a plant to care for the trees, a tree program with dedicated annual funding, an Arbor Day observance and the incorporation of a service learning project.
The Goshen Fire Department and Goshen College Sustainability Coordinator Glenn Gilbert oversaw the burn with the help of students studying ecology and sustainability.
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