Celebrating Arbor Day with a Tree Planting and Identification Project

Two students shoveling dirt near tree
Two Holy Cross students place dirt around the newly planted tree.
Holy Cross students and staff gathered on April 27th to plant a tree in celebration of Arbor Day. Every year, the College of the Holy Cross plants commemorative trees to honor some of our community members. These trees join the many others in the campus arboretum. For Arbor Day 2022, one commemorative tree went into the highly visible Stein Courtyard, symbolizing the College’s commitment to ‘caring for our common home.’ While the tree was planted, attendees enjoyed locally baked tree themed cupcakes and talked with sustainability interns about tree management.

tree themed cupcakes

In addition to the tree planting and opportunity to converse about trees, Holy Cross launched a short-term tree identification project. HC community members took photos of trees across campus, tried to identify them, and described their condition. Their observations and photos went onto the iNaturalist app for others to review and exchange thoughts. This project allowed the HC community to act as arborists for a week and get to know the different trees on campus.

Screenshot of iNaturalist App

Holy Cross remains committed to educating our community about trees through the campus arboretum and the annual tree planting event. “It’s nice to see the HC community get excited about trees for a day, and take a moment to engage with the arboretum. It’s special that a wide variety of trees can intersect with campus life in so many ways and connect with specific community members through the dedication process,” said Cathy Liebowitz, director of sustainability.

Dining Services Practices New Plant-Based Recipes

Kale, white bean warm salad closeup

Menus of Change is a set of principles that integrates nutrition and environmental science to develop recommendations that help food service and culinary professionals achieve optimal nutrition, environmental stewardship and resilience, and social responsibility within the food service industry. The vision is to guide food and food service professionals, like Holy Cross’ Dining Services, in creating meals that are not only delicious, but also nutritious and healthy, environmentally sustainable as well as socially responsible and ethical.

In June, the culinary team in Dining Services worked with Leslie Cerier, “The Organic Gourmet”, to develop new plant-based recipes for the upcoming semester. This four-day workshop, full of discussions and cooking demonstrations, explored sea vegetables, teff, and tempeh. Recipes included everything from miso based sauces and teff based croutons.

Leslie Cerier portrait
Photo from Leslie Cerier

When students return this Fall, they will likely see a few new plant-based dishes at Kimball Main Dining Room. Have specific ideas? Dining Services always welcomes feedback.

Monica Martinez ‘21 on Alternative Transportation Appreciation Day – April 21st

On April 21, 2021, the College of the Holy Cross will host an Alternative Transportation Appreciation Day (ATAD). You may be wondering what is alternative transportation? Why is the office of sustainability spending a day celebrating it? Alternative transportation refers to the different forms of commuting other than single-occupancy vehicles (meaning when one person drives in a gasoline-powered vehicle alone). Some alternative forms include walking, biking, using public transportation, driving an electric vehicle, and carpooling. Student and employee commuting produce 30 percent of Holy Cross’ carbon emissions. The goal for Alternative Transportation Appreciation Day is to bring awareness to options like carpooling incentives, public transit, and carbon footprints in order to encourage the Holy Cross community to try transportation alternatives to single-occupancy driving. By doing so, the office of sustainability hopes to reduce the College’s carbon emissions produced through commuting.

To support alternative transportation commuters, the College maintains a number of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, exclusive hybrid vehicle parking spaces, and bike racks. Four dual-dual port EV charging stations are located on the third and fourth floors of Holy Cross’s parking garage. Highly desirable parking spots, exclusively for hybrid vehicles, are spread throughout campus parking lots, everywhere from Hogan Campus Center to Figge Hall. Uncovered bike racks are situated on the corner of Linden Lane and Kimball road, between the Science complex and Dinand library, as well as on each side of the Hart Center. Try to keep these locations in mind as they will be useful for ATAD activities.
Map of poster route
As mentioned earlier, ATAD will take place on April 21, 2021 and encourages people to enjoy the outdoors while staying socially-distanced. Participants will find green posters with QR codes in various locations on campus (see the map). The QR codes direct students and employees to infographics about public transit, to a site where they can calculate their carbon footprint, and to the app store where they can download the Baystate commute app. Happy ATAD!