What if…

I’m sure there are a few people out there diligently sticking to their New Year resolutions.  They say more than 80% of us fail as we “lose weight”, “quit smoking”, “eat healthy”; the list goes on and is as individualized as each of us.

When December’s page was turned I began pondering what to suggest to the Arboretum Director for my New Year arboretum resolution.  Mind you, these are the aspirations of “the gardener”. Certain jobs I do throughout the year afford my brain to take long jaunts into the what ifs.

What if we began eradicating two very noxious weed shrubs from the campus landscape? I’m referring to butterfly bush, Buddleja davidii and burning bush, Euonymus alatus. These two species are on many states invasive plant list. While they are very attractive in their own right, the propensity for them to reseed in our woods and open spaces drive out native species. It makes sense that the arboretum does not promote growing them but rather remove them from the collection and educated the community on suitable alternatives.

What if the arboretum attempted to become a more prominent entity in the lives of the students, faculty and staff?  There is the Center for Environmental Responsibility (CER), a very active student driven group and the newly formed Environmental Studies Program.  Reciprocal collaboration with each of them can only be beneficial.  There is a clear connection among the arboretum and both of the groups just listed.  I believe with a little effort, each could benefit from the others strengths.

So, there are my two New Year resolutions for the arboretum.

Stay tuned to see how the what ifs become what’s next.