PDCCC students celebrate Earth Day

Published 10:02 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How better to celebrate Earth Day than saving the earth?

At least that’s what students in the Paul D. Camp Community College Science Club thought.

It started simply enough.

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Club President Nick Zinn began thinking of how to celebrate Earth Day, and he came up with the idea of planting a new tree at the community college’s Suffolk campus.

But then he thought about taking an even bigger step, and donating tree seedlings to a nearby elementary school.

“I approached the school with the idea of doing a service project both inside the school and outside at one of the local elementary schools,” Zinn said. “They were very excited about it.”

Zinn and members of the science club began a month-long task of coordinating with Kilby Shores Elementary School as well as the Virginia Department of Forestry to get more than 500 red pine seedlings to share.

But the club did not stop there.

Members then began to think of the opportunity they had to make this community service project better.

They began creating a recyclable basket, where everything in the basket was either made from recyclable materials or could be recycled after it was used. For people to enter a chance to win the basket, they would need to bring in two canned food items, which would later be donated to one of the food closets in the city of Suffolk.

“This has become a multi-faceted project that has grown from just giving out trees,” Zinn said.

Wednesday afternoon, members of the club were busy wrapping and preparing the red pine seedlings as well as talking about how important it is for the community to learn more about plants.

“I’m a plant buff,” said LaQuisa McGlone, club treasurer. “I love plants and I feel like we need to educate children about the benefits of these plants. In order for them to have a better future, we need to preserve a better future.”

For example, McGlone said that a tree’s shade can lower the temperature of buildings by up to 20 degrees, which will cut down on carbon emissions from air conditioning units.

After planting the new tree in the school’s back lot, the club members presented students at Kilby Shores Elementary School with their new seedlings.

“We just hope that they are put to good use,” Zinn said. “Hopefully, it will make an impact.”