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Rebuilding after the pandemic

In the hands of trees growing seedlings. Bokeh green Background Female hand holding tree on nature field grass Forest conservation concept

After more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, SUNY Brockport’s Environmental Club is working to restore the momentum it lost. Club President Megan Ritter and Vice President Grace Dowdall hosted a recruitment meeting Tuesday, September 7 to fill leadership positions and to inform prospective club members on their goals and expectations for the upcoming semester. 

Last semester, the club was unable to meet in person and was forced to meet over Zoom which resulted in low turnout. Now that they are meeting regularly in person, the club hopes to increase in members and to accomplish more projects. 

Their main goal is to make SUNY Brockport a more sustainable campus. They plan to do this by planting trees, working with tree campus certification, cleaning up beaches and having more involvement in the environmental community. 

This semester, Ritter wants the club to work outside as much as possible and to get their hands dirty. She encourages them to “squish moss [and] climb trees.”

One possibility is working with the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, which hosts numerous events the club hopes to take advantage of. They also plan on assisting in cleaning up trash scattered across Hamlin Beach State Park.

The college Sustainability Committee plans to bring a new meadow to campus which the Environmental Club hopes to collaborate with. The meadow will restore the campus hill with native plants and encourage more biodiversity. The project is still in the early stages, but the club believes the meadow would provide sustainability to the campus environment, and benefit the college itself. 

The meadow will help provide native plants for birds, bees and pollinators, which would benefit surrounding ecosystems. Additionally, it will attract more species, such as different insects, and create a habitat for smaller burrowing animals. 

Ritter agrees with the benefits of the new meadow, and encourages the idea of more meadows on campus. She prefers a campus rich in biodiversity and popping with color over one that appears clean-cut, neat and generic. 

Ritter is devoted to the environment because it’s the main reason why people are alive and sustained. Every living thing heavily relies on the environment, yet not many people are informed or care enough about preserving it. The Environmental Club educates people on sustainability and conservation, and involves them in the environment within their local community. The members are passionate about the environment and eager to learn more.

Rebuilding the Environmental Club after a long and taxing pandemic is no easy task. It will require effort from both the members and club leaders to adjust as the campus slowly transitions back to normal. They expect to experience hiccups while learning how to work together in person once again. Interacting alone is a difficult process after living a life online throughout the pandemic. 

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Cambrie Eckert, News Editor
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