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Volunteers gathered Saturday at the Seminole Campus for the planting of 1,000 pine tree seedlings. At the end of the project, they gathered around for the planting of the 1000th seedling.

     A small army of volunteers turned out at the Seminole Campus on Saturday to plant 1,000 pine trees on the north end of the campus.
     Students, faculty members, college staff and volunteers from the Seminole community took part in the planting, which started at 9 a.m. and lasted into the afternoon. Staff members mapped out the planting scheme, and then volunteers took over to poke holes in the ground, place the small seedling roots in the ground, and then soak them with about a quart of water each.
     The planting took place near the spot where other volunteers worked a few weeks ago to pull non-indigenous plants from the ground.
     Seminole Provost Jim Olliver, who worked Saturday as one of the volunteers, said the expansive site one day will be the home of a natural habitat park.
     “Of course, we’re doing all this as a beautification measure, but this also will help the natural habitat,” he said. “It will benefit migratory birds, and it will offer an opportunity for the campus to have a natural habitat park and environmental center. Work on that may start within a month, and it will include walking paths, ponds, andf a dock. We envision a place where all kinds of creatures and natural plants will be able to live and thrive.”
     Jim Waechter, Director of Facilities Services, obtained the pine seedlings and oversaw the planting. He said the planting project is a single step in improving the 63-acre north end of the campus, which he said is called the campus’ Habitat Area.
     He said the college obtained a grant two years ago to remove non-native plants, and that effort left the area looking somewhat ravaged.
     “Today is the first step in a restoration project,” he said. “It will look very good 10 years from now, and those people who are around 50 years from now will be able to see the fruits of our labors.”

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