Arboretum volunteers from a sunnier time.
We had an "old-fashioned" winter this year at Carleton, with plenty of snow and cold, but I haven't been able to ignore the drought back home in California or the record flooding in Britain. Whenever I read those headlines, I have a gut reaction of panic, or of "Well, if we're all going down, is everything I'm doing pointless? I often think that what's lacking in my life at Carleton is a concrete way to feel that I'm helping some small part of the world situation. In my classes I learn about the history and scope of problems so that I can theoretically do something in the future. But what if I want to do something now?
And that's why I go to Arb volunteer days on the third Saturday of every month. It gratifies the need to physically do something to help the world. We pull up invasive plants, and yes it's repetitive, but also very social because we work in a group. It's a great opportunity to talk with Northfield adults (who are the majority of volunteers), and get a fresh perspective. It always reminds me that there is an outside world, and I always feel better about my problems of the moment. If you're looking for a way to give back to the Arb, this is an opportunity to volunteer in a new way. For more information, see the Arb website.
-Emma Rapperport '14 for the Cole Student Naturalists