Protect the Andrews Lawn Trees

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On Monday, April 24th, the administration released an email explaining that the trees in Andrews Lawn will be removed due to the construction of the Barbara Walters Campus Center.

The cherry tree, in particular, has a strong attachment and tradition with the college. Throughout my the time at this college the seniors during senior week would gather the fallen petals and arrange them in a circle on Andrews Lawn. This is a Sarah Lawrence College Senior Tradition. The construction of this center could eliminate this tradition forever.

In terms of environmental psychology, trees and other forms of nature are critical for producing a healthy environment. To quote Jolanda (1979), "small scale psychological research has shown that exposure to green space has a positive effect on stress reduction and attention restoration." We need these spaces to provide us with shade as well as reduce some of our stress levels.  

Sources:

The email sent to the SLC body is below:

Andrews Lawn Trees (Oak, Maple, and Cherry Tree)

Throughout the planning and design process of the Barbara Walters Campus Center, the College’s architect has worked to ensure that the new building’s physical siting on campus will help make it feel as if it has always been there.  In siting the Campus Center at the corner of Kimball Avenue and Glen Washington Road, the building will be located at the physical center of campus and enhance our primary entrance.  The building’s orientation has also been refined to help integrate it within the natural terrain, thereby minimizing excavation, while facilitating pedestrian flow across the campus.

While much of the existing landscape along Kimball Avenue will remain, the trees between the Andrews Parking Lot and the path to Andrews will be impacted.  We have evaluated each of these trees which include a red oak, two maples and a cherry tree.  As the red oak and maple trees are relatively young and less established, the College’s horticulturist, Ani Adishian ’95 of Flora Landscapes, has been able to relocate them to other areas on campus.  However, we have been advised the largest of the trees, the Kwanzan cherry tree, is too established to relocate (it is already past its life expectancy of 15-25 years) and would not survive a transplant. Thus, as the construction of the Barbara Walters Campus Center proceeds, the removal of this mature cherry tree is unavoidable when the construction begins later in the calendar year.

At this time, we want to take the opportunity to commemorate this beautiful tree, especially as it is about to display its glorious blossoms once again this spring.  We are planning the following activities that will give it both a legacy and an afterlife.

According to Dance faculty member Kathy Westwater MFA ‘01, the tree has been a part of the Dance All Night Celebration for many years; this year’s event will take place on May 6 at midnight “until 'the birds sing' Sundaymorning.”
Visual Arts’ New Genres Studio faculty member Angela Ferraiolo and her students will create a digital representation of the tree that can be projected onto a wall or other surface.
The College will take cuttings to root new trees to be incorporated into the campus landscape once they mature.
The tree trunk will be evaluated for best use of the wood to create artistic or functional items that might enhance the College environment.

Sign this petition standing in solidarity with protecting the little bits of nature we have left on our campus and preserving a SLC tradition for future students. 



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