Becoming eco-friendly, one tree at a time

MAKAYLA BROWN | DAILY KENT STATER Pawel Rybak (left) and Ben Stillman (right) are two founders of the Environmental Conservation club at Kent State. Part of their plan involves river and lake clean-up projects in the near future.

Katherine Nix

After being in the planning stages during the fall semester, the Environmental Conservation Group officially joined Kent State’s campus this spring.  

“The long-term goal of our group is to aid and host environmental conservation projects until such work is no longer needed, and such work will be needed possible forever,” group co-founder Pawel Rybak said. “A personal goal of mine is to have the ECG become a staple of KSU. We plan on having a lot of fun in the future doing relevant work that is important for the entire world environment, and the more people that volunteer their time, the more work gets done.”

Since coming onto campus, the small club made up of mostly biology majors has participated in an event hosted by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park called Operation Restoration.

“It was a small event of 30 people which included a presentation by CVNP rangers on the past and future of the park relating to volunteer and ranger restoration work,”

Rybak said. “We then planted seeds of native plants needed for restoration work in the CVNP.”

The seeds were planted in containers and then transported to a nursery in the national park to mature before planting them permanently.

Additionally, the Environmental Conservation Group has a relationship with the Portage Park District.

“The PPD is down to a budget of $100,000 after years of budget cuts,” Rybak said. “There is a levy on the ballot in the upcoming elections, and our group is working with Christine Craycroft, the executive director of the PPD, to raise awareness for the levy.”

Furthermore, with the weather finally starting to break and allowing for more conservation projects, the group plans to plant 800 native trees for a restoration project in Aurora on March 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Environmental Conservation Group meets at 8 p.m. Tuesdays in the Student Center as needed. To join, contact Rybak at [email protected].

Contact Katherine Nix at [email protected].