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UMM student promotes urban forestry with GreenCorps

MORRIS - Paige Scarborough, Morris's newest GreenCorps member, has been serving the local community by promoting urban forestry initiatives. Working primarily with the city of Morris for the last several months, Scarborough has spent most of her service term assisting with a recent tree planting. She plans to spend more time on campus in the spring. Scarborough's work builds on the efforts made last year by former GreenCorps member Laura Anne Hunt '13, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

After graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead, Scarborough was interested in pursuing work in forest ecology. After working as an environmental educator, Scarborough applied for the GreenCorps position at Morris, having been drawn to the school's sustainability efforts as well as her family's extensive history with the campus. Her grandfather, William Scarborough, once served as dean of education while her grandmother, Donna Scarborough, served as a senior secretary at Morris. Her parents, Michael '72 and Susan '76 Scarborough, are alumni as well.

"I was lucky enough to get the position in Morris," says Scarborough. "I love the town and the University. The town is a big family, and everyone has a story about mine. It's great to be a part of a community that holds on to that. It means a lot for me to be here."

Scarborough's interest in urban forestry stems from her belief in the importance of trees within the local ecosystem. Noting the role that trees play in cleaning ground water, acting as wind breaks, catching snow, insulating buildings, and enhancing the community's aesthetic appeal, she feels confident in the importance of her work. She adds, however, that this work would not be possible without the efforts of the city grew and campus grounds departments.

On campus, the grounds crew prepares, sows, and maintains all 165 acres of the Morris campus. This team includes Rick Reimers, senior gardener, as well as gardeners Mieka Hoffman and Mike Kopel, both of whom are International Society of Arboriculture certified arborists. Scarborough is looking forward to working in collaboration with this capable and knowledgeable team next semester.

"They're the brains behind everything that makes the grounds work. They're responsible for the health of the grounds, and they work incredibly hard to keep our campus beautiful."

The Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This program is funded through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service with additional support from ServeMinnesota.