Field trip to Minnesota Landscape Arboretum “opened eyes” of Green Tigers
November 3, 2016
Climate change is an apparent problem and no one is more aware of that than the Green Tigers. From succeeding in getting hydration stations installed in South, organizing for solar panels to be put on South’s roof, to taking an education field trip to the Arboretum, they are very aware of the threat to our environment.
The Arboretum is a stretch of land owned by the University of Minnesota, with over 1,215 acres and 12.5 miles of garden paths and trails. The definition for Arboretum is “a botanical garden dedicated to trees.”
As the five Green Tigers in attendance and I walked along the trails and explored the sculpture garden there were many exclamations of wonder and excitement. “It was really fun!” said student Asha Salah, “It was really cold but that didn’t really matter because the scenery was so great.”
Salah went on to express her feelings on the importance of Green Tigers. She wanted to join an extracurricular activity and Green Tigers seemed like the best fit. Since then Salah has noticed small things that have changed in her everyday life. Salah sorts her lunch at school, puts different things in recycling rather than trash, she uses less plastic bags, and has decided to use a reusable water bottle.
According to their website the Arboretum was completed in 2005 with the vision “To be a world-class northern-climate public garden and Arboretum that inspires people to notice and reflect upon the beauty and subtletie and the importance of our plant world.” This vision was definitely attained. The Green Tigers noticed and reflected on everything they took in, often asking a friend what different plants were or what leaf belongs to which tree.
Senior Mimi Holliday explained, “It gives you a new perspective on the environment, really seeing it and how beautiful it is and that we need to take care of it and really respect it because it’s an important part of our life.”
Holliday also explained the importance of the Green Tigers coming to the Arboretum:they can get “that perspective” of the environment and then share and educate others. This field trip can give them the opportunity to show people why “we really need to care for the environment,” said Holliday.
Holliday also talked about the great community within Green Tigers. “Everyone’s so passionate and kind.” said Holliday, “They’re all very intelligent and have good knowledge and just very accepting people, so I was very excited about [joining].”
Holliday joined because she wanted to meet new people and was concerned with the environment as well. She was immediately pointed towards Green Tigers and has loved it ever since. Her favorite part of the group is learning more about climate change. She’s only been to a couple meetings but her knowledge on the environment has already ex
“It really gives people a perspective on the environment and how it can be and how beautiful it is.” Holliday said in explanation of the importance of the Arboretum, “And it really shows people the work that goes into it.”
Green Tigers had a peculiar interest in the Bee and Pollination Center, which was just opened on September 18. They eagerly watched the short films on bee life, and were disconcerted at their new knowledge that wasps often push honey bee’s off of flowers so that they can get more nectar. As explained by the chaperone and vice principal Mercedes Reynolds, “Wasps are bullies!”
Harun Samatar, another member of Green Tigers explained why he joined. “Where I come from people aren’t very aware of the environment,” Samatar said. “But when you go outside and see nature and see it’s beauty it makes me want to make a difference in my community.”
Samatar also expressed his excitement at coming to the Arboretum. Samatar explained that when you’re at school you see people making a difference but not to such a grand scale. At school you might see someone using recycling but at the Arboretum you see the immensity of nature and what people can do if they work together as a community and really care about the environment.
“I learned a lot.” said Samatar,,One of the most important things he’s learned is about [Green Tigers] opens the door to a lot of great conversations.”
Samatar explained that he likes talk to people about something they all care about.and something they can all make a difference in: “It’s a great community together.” Samatar said.
Samatar said, “The environment is something very important, for my future, for my kids future and for my grandkids future.”