Native Intelligence

My good buddy Rudyard Kipling once said, “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” There might have been a bit of singing but it was more like “Oh, me achin’ back,” as students, staff and faculty worked together this weekend to replant the slope in front of admissions. I mean, I’m not talking about pulling a couple weeds and separating some lilies. This was like planting a whole spanking new ecosystem, a veritable miniature Amazon jungle that will probably double the biodiversity on campus and reverse global climate change.

I’m talking about bending over and planting 2,000 little plants of 30 species, all of them from native plant communities like the “sunny, rocky, weather-beaten outcrop where almost nothing can grow” community. Professor Jenny can’t wait to bring her botany classes down to peer at all of these little guys through impossible little hand lenses. Okay, so right now it looks like a whole lot of bark mulch with some little plantlets poking out, but by this time next year it should be a mighty inviting entrance to the college.

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