In December of 2012, the club travelled to Pike County, Kentucky, along with students from Berea College and the University of Kentucky, and worked with the Green Forests Work (GFW) and the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) to reforest an abandoned surface mine. In that one day of planting, the students planted nearly 5000 trees. Fritz said that they were provided with native tree seeds, such as white oak, that grow naturally along the mountainsides.
“We hope to return in the current and upcoming semesters to work with GFW in reforesting other surrounding abandoned surface mines,” said Lindsay, “but reforestation is only one of our club’s current projects.”
Their other projects include starting a recycling program on campus and teaching faculty and students alike to appreciate the environment for its beauty and resources. The club’s standpoint is that humans are not conquerors of the land, but rather a part of it. Club members enjoy taking hikes on local trails and are planning a trip to the Red River Gorge within the upcoming year. The trip, as well as hiking excursions, are open to participation from non-club members.
The Environmental & Outdoors Club is also looking to start greenhouses on or around campus and are planning to craft a proposal to start an eco-friendly light project on campus that will terminate the use of high-energy use light bulbs.
Nine students are club members: Lindsay Fritz, McKayla Asher, MiKala Collins, Nathan Conley, Austen Ison, Tarnois Jones, Emmanuel Joseph, Alexa Ortiz, and Sabra Robinson. Fritz serves as president, the treasurer of the club is McKayla Asher, and Dr. Patrick Greene, ALC Assistant Professor of Mathematics, works as the club advisor.
Fritz, a sophomore biology major from Russell, Kentucky, said that she chose to attend ALC because she wanted to go to a private, liberal arts college.
“I was comfortable at Alice Lloyd, and it’s a very affordable school,” she said. “I was especially intrigued by the many opportunities offered by the school’s work-study program.”
McKayla Asher is a junior pre-veterinary major from Harlan, Kentucky, and decided to attend ALC for many of the same reasons as Fritz. The deciding factor for her was that Alice Lloyd offered a major in pre-veterinary medicine.
The two young ladies hope to aid their community in learning about the environment and how it deserves to be treated. They both believe that working in order to better the environment for no personal compensation is one of the best feelings a person can have. Asher related the reason for their volunteer work back to the idea of Alice Lloyd’s Purpose Road Philosophy.
Fritz agreed, saying, “Reforested land is going to have a use one day. It creates jobs, provides natural resources such as water and clean air, and of course, it just offers more natural beauty to our Appalachian land. We hope to eventually reforest every abandoned strip mine in the area, because it would make such a difference in our environment and community.”