Collaboration seeds new trees in Fairmount Park
What started as Temple student Mark Raczynski’s desire to learn about plant propagation evolved into a massive project to plant 2,000 trees in Fairmount Park over three years.
Temple’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture collaborated with Ambler Arboretum, the Philadelphia Zoo and Fairmount Park on the project, which will reduce Philadelphia’s carbon footprint, control storm water runoff and restore wildlife habitats lost due to invasive species.
Funded by a $25,000 Fairmount Park Project grant awarded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Five Star Restoration Program in 2010, Temple raised the seedlings and educated students in reforestation concepts.
Now the university is providing 600 trees to reforest eight acres of Fairmount Park. More than 30 students from Temple’s Department of Horticulture have collaborated on the project, working on seed collection, sowing and cutting propagation.
On Sept. 30, students and faculty from the Department of Horticulture, including Raczynski, planted more than 100 trees that had been nurtured at Temple University Ambler.
“This is my last semester at Temple and it’s been a great experience,” said Raczynski. “By the time I’m in a walker, I can come out here and enjoy my hard work and then the next generation will be able to enjoy it even more so.”
Eva Monheim, senior lecturer in the Department of Horticulture, believes that the project not only helps the environment, but also strengthens the bond between Temple and its surrounding community.
“The idea that groups can help one another is a powerful tool for helping to support our own campus,” she said.