On Arboretum Beautification Day, the Palomar College community came together to tackle the task of beautifying a popular campus hangout spot on Oct. 5.
At the Arboretum, the campus botanical garden which houses rare and endangered plant species from around the world, a group of students met with Antonio Rangel, president of Friends of the Palomar College Arboretum, to begin the cleanup process.
According to the Palomar College Arboretum website, the Friends of the Palomar College Arboretum is an organization composed of biologists, naturalists, horticulturalists, businessmen, retirees, college students/staff and the general public.
Rangel mentioned, “The organization was formed to help educate the public on the uniqueness of the specimens here at Palomar. The community has been around since the mid to late 1990s.”
“The cleanup day is a way for the public to come and help,” he added. “We have a small crew in the grounds department. Without groups like these guys coming out and helping, this place would not exist.”
Some students participated at the event to earn a few extra points for class. Life Science Professor Elizabeth Pearson offered her students extra credit for attending the Arboretum Day event, according to student Nicholas Dorsey.
Students were pulling weeds, picking up tree trimmings and loading a flat bed truck up with plant scraps.
“I like working outside but with my busy schedule I don’t get a lot of chances to work with my hands, so today is nice,” Dorsey said.
Some students came that day because their teachers were giving them extra credit, whereas others said they wanted to feel like they were a part of something bigger. Student Marc Riggins walks through the Arboretum to relax during class breaks.
“I liked the turnout and the event itself. It is good to get involved in something like this,” Riggins said. “It gives us a sense of community at the school and even a sense of pride. Hopefully, this being my last semester here, I can look over here and know that I put some hours in and it turned out nice.”
According to Rangel, the effort to start the Arboretum was the idea of a few students and a groundskeeper, Robert Kelly. He added the best success story to come out of the Arboretum is that for over 40 years there has been a continuous effort to keep it around and to maintain it through community efforts.
“It shows that people still care about the environment and they still care about the world that surrounds us,” Rangel said.