Environmental Club Lends a Pair of Hands at Whale Pond Brook

Whalepond Brook Clean Up

PHOTO TAKEN by Taylor Copp

The Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association hosted a clean up to remove invasive species from around the brook, and cover the banks of the brook with mulch so that next planting season, the plants would be easier to handle. The clean up was from 10 am – 1 pm, along the Whale Pond Brook, just east of campus, on October 18. The University Environmental Club was supposed to help assist with the clean up, however there was only one student at the clean up.

            Mitchell Mickley, a junior, majoring in Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy, was the only student from the University who attended the clean up, and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, he arrived to the clean up eager to lend a helping hand, because, he said, “everyone talks about [cleaning up the environment] but no one wants to get their hands dirty.”

            Brett Gilmartin, the Environmental Club president commented on the low turnout and stated, “I am sorry I could not give you a fair representation of the environmental club today. There was so little turnout because of the time, and lack of E-Board. Unfortunately the community chose to do the clean up during a time the entire E-Board, and 10 other members were in a meeting for their Marine Biology Major, therefore I am not disappointed with the turnout.”

            Besides Mitchell, there were a lot of members from the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association at the clean up volunteering their time to the beautification of the environment. Faith Teitelbaum, a community member who is a member of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association, was the person in charge of the event. Faith took part in the clean up by identifying native species to the brook, as well as removing the invasive species from the banks. Faith as well as the other volunteers were placing cardboard down around the banks where they removed the invasive plants, and placed mulch on top of the card board, because the card board would suppress the growth of the invasive plants, so that in the next planting season, the area would be easier to maintain and plant new plants.  Faith also had a blueprint of the brook, and what the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association planned to do with the area. Faith’s blueprint proposal involved the planting of more native species on the banks of the brook, and also plant bushes in the immediate area, and also have benches placed by the brook, with two trails leading from the street to the brook. There is also plans to set up a bike trail along the brook that will run just west of the University. The main goal of the project Faith said, was to “ highlight that this is and important and historical part of the environment.” Across from where the clean up took place, there is a 140 year old building which added to the historical value of the brook, which Faith, as well as the rest of the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association wanted to highlight.

            Lisa Bagwell, who is the manager of the community gardens in the City of Long Branch, was also in attendance. Lisa, who is a friend of Faith, took the initiative to get out and help with the beautification of the environment. Lisa feels it is “important to increase beautification, there is not enough beauty in our environment.”

            This clean up is part of a larger project that includes a full clean up and restoration of the brook. It is also in the same sense a demo project, for educational purposes, to learn how to effectively propagate native species. Similar projects, namely one on Deal Lake that took place last year, which was not headed by the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association, was a failure, because of the lack of mulching and the lack of active nurturing. This project is funded by the 5 cities that the brook runs through: Long Branch, West Long Branch, Ocean Eatontown and Tinton Falls. These 5 cities have it as part of their budget to contribute to the beautification and restoration of the environment.

            The Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association will be conducting more clean ups and beautification related outings coming up in the near future. If you want to get involved you can access their website at www.restorethewatershed.com, and take some time out to better our environment. Also, if you want to get involved with the University Environmental club you can email muenvironmentalclub@gmail.com, or attend weekly meetings in Bey Hall room 132 Wednesdays at 2:30 pm. “To enhance our environment doesn’t take much”, Faith said, quoting Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 

Advertisements

Working at the Car Wash…Car Wash Yeah!

PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor Copp

PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor Copp

The girls of the University Dance Team hosted a car wash at Freewood Acres Fire Co. in Howell, NJ on Sunday September 30. This was the first year the girls hosted a fundraiser of this nature, and it was a success overall.

The fundraiser was held from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm, and the girls had a steady flow of cars from 10:00 am on. A lot of members of the community as well as friends and family of the team showed up to support the dance team.

The girls held their fundraiser in Howell because a team member’s father works there and allowed them to use the space for the day. The girls raised over 300 dollars.

Lauren Buonpane, the team captain said, “We knew student and faculty turn out would be low because the fire department is about 30 minutes from campus. If we had another one we would consider having it at a location closer to school to increase the turnout, and whenever doing a fundraiser, the more turnout, the better.”

The money will be used to help fund the dance team’s trip to nationals in Daytona, Florida in the spring. The money raised at the fundraiser would help alleviate costs of expenses that the girls would ultimately cover, including registration, flight, hotel, costumes and choreography.

To wash the cars, the girls had an assembly line system set up. Some girls would wet the cars, while some washed and there were girls rinsing cars. Not only did the girls provide an effective and organized car wash they also had a lot of fun in the process. Team member Lauren Fereno said, “I think it was a great way to bond with the team members and raise money so we can attend Nationals.” Raising money for nationals was the primary objective of the day, however bonding with your team and having a great time while doing it is always a plus!

Advertising of the event was very prominent on campus. The girls posted signs around campus, had an announcement in the weekly emails and used word of mouth. Because the event was so far from campus, the girls relied heavily on the Howell community, who were very supportive. While the dance team had members standing on the corner of Route 9 promoting the event, members of the community took time out of their Sunday to help the girls fund their trip to Nationals. Members of the community even donated money without getting their car washed.

This will not be the only fundraiser the girls of the dance team will be having this year, since Nationals are in the spring the girls have a lot more time to raise money. The girls plan to host various fundraisers throughout the year, but they will be having a bake sale next month, on October 24, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. The girls will be selling baked goods in another effort to raise more money for Nationals and they also have some other fundraisers in the works.

If you want to get involved with the dance team, students are required to go through a try-out. The dance team has two open try-outs every year, one in the fall, and another in the spring.

If you were not able to attend the car wash, but would still like to contribute to the team, they are always looking for support and would appreciate donations from members of the community, faculty and students. Also be on the lookout for the upcoming fundraisers the girls will be holding and help the dance team on their endeavor to Nationals in the spring.