News Release

Environmental Stewardship Initiatives Flourish on Campus

What may look like a detention basin to those driving by the new Art and Communication Center is so much more to Trinity’s environmental stewards.

The basin will help manage storm water runoff from the new building, slowing its flow into the adjacent Navajo Creek, but the dry pond structure across the drive from the ARCC has also provided an opportunity for Trinity’s Campus Ecological Stewardship Advisory Group (CESAG) to demonstrate the College’s stewardship initiative and to offer an educational laboratory for classes.

On Friday, November 21, more than 20 students, faculty, and staff ignored the bitterly cold winds and encircled the basin to plant 30 trees and shrubs, which were donated by Possibility Place Nursery (Monee, Illinois) through the Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees program.

Amy Dockendorf ’10 of Shingle Springs, California, and Rebecca VanderWilt ’09 of Freeport, Illinois, were two of the students who picked up shovels, saying they were happy to be involved.

“Trees are cool,” added Dockendorf as she dug. “This is a small way to play a part.”

Educational opportunities offered through this project will include:

  • In spring 2009, plants from experiments on germination and growth of native wildflowers will be transplanted to augment the growth of flood-tolerant species seeded this fall.
  • Ecology and environmental science students will collect data about the succession of the plant community over the coming years.
  • Interpretive signs will be installed around the basin identifying its role in habitat restoration, storm water management, and environmental stewardship.
  • The addition of native trees will expand the existing “library of trees” growing on the 60-acre wooded campus and highlighted in the CESAG’s self-guided tree walk. The tree walk brochure is available from the College Web site:


“Our goals stem from our mission as a Christian college and our belief that we are called to be good stewards of God’s creation,” said Dr. Frank Hensley, associate professor of biology and CESAG chair.

CESAG members:
Dr. Brad Breems, professor of sociology
Dr. Frank Hensley (chair), associate professor of biology
Dr. Tom Roose, associate professor of physics and science education
Dr. Lou Sytsma ’65, professor of chemistry
Emily DeVos ’04, campaign gifts manager
John Vinke, reference librarian
Tim Timmons, physical plant director
George VanderVelde ‘63, vice president for campus development
Jenna VanDyk ’12 of Tinley Park, Illinois
Jennie Hill ’12 of Guston, Kentucky
Joshua VanStaalduinen ’09 of Oak Brook, Illinois
Sarah Faasse ’09 of Grandville, Michigan

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