Campus SEED club plants trees at Goodell Gardens

Category:  News
Friday, April 9th, 2021 at 1:20 PM
Campus SEED club plants trees at Goodell Gardens by Julia Carden
Contributed Photo

Edinboro University’s SEED Club, or Students of Edinboro for Environmental Defense, gathered on Monday to plant trees at Goodell Gardens & Homestead. The club invited non-members to join them and spend the day doing their part for the environment.   

“SEED is more than a club, it’s a title for students who have a passion and love for protecting the environment around them. It is an opportunity to collaborate with students and professionals in the environmental field, while also making friends and having fun,” said a masked Sara Wettekin, president of SEED.  

ReLeaf, which is what this day was a part of, is an initiative of Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF). According to LEAF’s website, “ReLeaf will educate, inspire and empower residents of Northwest Pennsylvania to positively impact the threat of climate change by planting trees in Erie County.” ReLeaf is currently hosting an initiative to plant 275,00 trees – one for each resident of Erie County.  

The organization reached out to SEED, asking for their help to reach this goal. The group was then given 28 tree saplings to plant around the Goodell Gardens property. Jamie Keim, creative director of ReLeaf, participated in the planting along with SEED.  

“Because of the small size of the trees, we’ll be planting them in root bags and putting them in a temporary location where Goodell Gardens will be able to water them and protect them from deer until they’re large enough to plant in a permanent location,” Wettekin explained. 

This is the club’s third tree planting event this year, and according to Wettekin, they hope to host more in the future. SEED is also planning a cleanup with the French Creek Valley Conservancy (FCVC) for Earth Day on April 24. The nonprofit conservancy works with and encourages others to maintain the French Creek Watershed in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  

SEED members volunteered previously in September 2020 at Merrits Landing, a FCVC stewardship property, where they helped in French Creek cleanup. According to Wettekin, the club participates each year.  

“[At Merrits Landing] the work was weeding, clearing overgrown and invasive species and then replacing them with small saplings that would work well on the bank,” she said.

SEED is open to students of all majors and is accepting new members or volunteers. Other than hands-on events in the field, the club also holds bake sales and does eco-friendly crafting. The group meets every other Monday night on Zoom at 6 p.m.

The club is student-run under faculty advisor Dr. Karen Esienhart of the geosciences department. Wettekin stressed the importance of continuing the club, since environmental studies is one of the academic programs being cut following the Spring 2020 semester. “It is important that students continue to band together and protect our planet for our futures.”

When the environmental studies program was announced in the Edinboro cuts, it had 30 students enrolled, the highest of any program set for moratorium. According to the university though, Edinboro will continue to offer "two other programs in environment science, one in environmental biology (focused on plants and animals), and one in environmental geology (focused on ground and water issues)."

Julia Carden is a staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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Tags: seed, environment

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