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SMC will cut down trail trees

Kelly Maus | Monday, May 1, 2006

With the weather in South Bend finally warming up, many students have begun to venture outside to enjoy the many beautiful spring sights. But students who run the trails behind the Saint Mary’s campus may have noticed a change in the scenery.

After a recent visit from the Department of Natural Resources, the College was advised to clear many of the trees located near the trails to maintain the area’s indigenous beauty and overall safety.

Aside from clearing away damaged and dying trees, workers took special care to assure that certain species of exotic plants and trees were removed in order to restore the wooded area to its natural appearance. Some of the exotic plants that were removed included honeysuckles and wild grape.

“These plants often obstruct the natural canopy of the forest and can act as a sail to break treetops during severe storms,” CEO of Holy Cross Services Corporation Judith Johns said.

Johns, under the recommendation of a professional forester, decided to follow the advice given by the Department of Natural Resources to complete the two-week removal process. Another reason for the removal of many of these trees was due to “recent tornadoes touching down in the area, destroying many of the treetops,” Johns said.

Sophomore Mary Frantz is one of the College’s many students who enjoy the trails as a welcome backdrop for a jog.

“The trails are one of my favorite places to run,” Frantz said.

However, Frantz also said the tree removal makes a drastic difference in the look of her running course.

“The trails look a lot different than they did earlier in the year … not as natural,” she said.

But Johns said the missing trees are being put to good use.

“Much of the trees cleared from the area were sold as hardwood with the profits being reinvested back into maintaining the area,” she said.

The profits made from the sale will be used in removing various exotic shrubs and plants from the area.