Over the past few months, Maryville College has seen new trees being planted and old trees being cut down. There have been new trees planted in front of Pearsons and Thaw Halls and in the campus woods. The reasoning behind it all is obvious, as Maryville has seen dangerous wind storms over the last two years that have caused some trees to not only fall but break in important places. Some trees also have been cracking at the limbs, causing a hazard for students walking on campus. To the Grounds Committee, the best way to keep the students safe is to do away with the old trees and replace them with new ones. Some of the trees that were in front of the dining hall were planted over 150 years ago and have served their lifespan well.
Although, for the most part, old age and deterioration are the causes for old trees to be replaced, Maryville College has seen some insect infestation in the trees in front of Thaw Hall. The replacement of trees in front of the library was well needed.
For the trees that have been planted in the upper and lower orchards of the Maryville College woods, it is a different story. Dr. Drew Crain, Professor of Biology, has teamed up with other professors and others who are interested in having fresh fruits and vegetables at Pearsons dining hall. Crain grew up on the farms of South Carolina where there were fresh apple, pear and cherry trees planted. The goal for Crain and many others is to promote a healthy lifestyle and to prevent a lot of pesticides in the foods. Dr. David Unger, Associate Professor of Biology, has used the orchards as an outside laboratory where his classes have actively participated in the yielding of these crops.
“Dr. Crain put in a really successful plan, and, in the long run, it will make a difference in the college community,” Unger said. “Many students get the opportunity to be hands on and actually see the food that they are consuming.”
Like the food that Crain grew up eating, the Maryville College student body will have ready access to fresh fruits that will help the college be in control of the things that are put in their body. Many students at Maryville College will be able to use these skills as learning tools for the future. By next school year, Pearsons Hall will have fresh produce from the College’s back yard.