Outdoor campus to be remodeled


Erica Kelble

The facilities staff of the maintenance group planted trees along side the faculty parking lot on Nov. 5. These plantings were a part of the renovations around JC.

40-year-old diseased trees linger about the JC campus and empty fields remain useless. By the end of spring into early summer this year, though, certain outdoor areas will begin to show signs of becoming outdoor learning areas, according to Director of Facilities Stewart Walker.

New projects for outdoor enhancement are starting to be implemented to suit the needs of the school and its students. The white pine trees that currently surround JC are being taken out, to be replaced by redbuds. “[The redbuds] won’t overwhelm the space with their size,” Walker said.

According to Walker, having the redbuds rather than the pines will still be providing the shade, but will be easier to maintain. “We won’t have the sap or pine needle problem,” he said.

Those in facilities are not alone in putting forth this project. Senior Cole Alban’s Senior Project and sophomore Joseph Camello’s Eagle Scout Project are helping to execute the outdoor remodel. Their hope is to “turn it into an outdoor learning center, ” Alban said. According to Alban, classes could utilize the outdoor area to enhance lessons. For example, science classes could integrate it into lessons.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Department of the Environment are both nonprofit organizations that are providing the redbud saplings which will be planted.

These trees are not the only plants being used to help enhance the outdoor campus. “The wild flowers is a larger project,” Walker said. These flowers will be planted on fields around campus.

Planting these, along with the planting of the new trees, adds “an environmental element, an aesthetic element, a marketing element, and an operational element,” Walker said.

The operational intent for this outdoor renovation is not solely for outdoor classroom space. Walker hopes to “potentially do a Stations of the Cross pathway,” which would lead up to a grotto near one of the ponds on campus. A large purpose of this project is for an “enhancement of an existing space,” he said.

According to Walker, this soon-to-come outdoor aspect is “one more thing JC will have that other schools won’t.”

Lauren Glase is a News Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.