On a sunny spring day, Alison Henry, MBA’16, sits outside Tomasso Hall as a pickup truck loaded with mulch drives by, a rich, earthy smell trailing behind it. Henry takes a breath. “I love mulch,” she says. “I love the smell of it.”
Henry has spent all morning digging and sweating as part of Babson’s annual spring planting event. “Everything that involves the environment on campus, I like to be involved in,” Henry says. “I’m a tree hugger. It’s close to my heart.” Hours of work have left her tired and dirt splattered, her once pink sneakers now looking smudged. “I kind of need to buy new ones anyway,” she says.
More than 30 volunteers, mainly students but also a smattering of staff, participated in the Earth Day event, which is now in its sixth year. In the past, new trees were planted at Woodland Hill, Mattos and Mandell Family halls, and other campus spots. This year the focus was on planting trees, shrubs, and flowers around Tomasso, which had some landscaping damaged by the construction of nearby Park Manor West.
The work began at 8 a.m., and by noon the volunteers were finished and chowing down on pizza. An assortment of shovels, rakes, and picks were stacked nearby. The volunteers had planted four trees, 79 shrubs, 127 perennials, and a slew of ground-cover plants. “This will be a very full landscape as it eventually grows,” says Erik Shaw, grounds supervisor. The area also will fill with color, as flowers in a variety of hues, from purple to blue to yellow, will bloom during different times of the year.
The planting made the volunteers appreciate just how much work goes into beautifying the campus. “I’m feeling tired, but it’s a good kind of tired,” says Sheen Hui ’18. “It’s satisfying. It will be cool to come back later and see how everything has grown.” —John Crawford