YSU Begins Legacy Forest by Planting 600 Trees

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Students, faculty and other supporters of Youngstown State University planted more than 600 trees Thursday, launching the YSU Legacy Forests program.

First proposed in the fall 2019 semester by emeritus professor Lauren Schroeder, the project aims to plant small forests through the Mahoning River watershed to offset carbon emissions and slow climate change. 

Going forward, the plan is to plant one tree for each incoming freshman.

“Our intent is simple – plant trees to create a better environment and help solve the climate crisis,” said Colleen McLean, a professor of physics, astronomy, geology and environmental sciences, in a statement. “We are thrilled to get this program literally in the ground and look forward to other planting events in the future.”  

The first forest was planted Thursday on North Hine Street, just off Oak Street, about half a mile east of Youngstown State’s campus. The site, provided by the Mahoning County Land Bank is estimated to offset eight tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“We hope this project is a template and an inspiration for other Mahoning Valley organizations to join in effective mitigation of climate warming through reforestation,” Schroeder said. “Already the YSU International Programs has joined the Legacy Forests to plant additional trees sufficient to offset the carbon footprint of the program. We hope many more will join our initiative.”  

Members of the YSU Legacy Forests committee are Schroeder, chairman and professor emeritus Steven Hanzley, professor Colleen McLean, former director of alumni relations Catherine Cala, YSU associate director of grounds David Ewing, alumna Penny Pavelko and students Mason Boraweic, Katharine Donnachie and Michelle Davis.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.