Dear Carletonian Readers:
During second week, a group of students chose to organize a party in the Lower Arboretum. In addition to the large amount of debris left behind, party participants also left a fire that was still burning at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, and the remains of fireworks. While I appreciate students having a good time in the Arb, I object to irresponsible behavior that violates policy established to protect the Arb resources, threatens to damage student and faculty projects, and threatens the safety of Arboretum visitors.
Arboretum staff, including many student workers, spend many hours working to create a space that is welcoming, safe, and available for both recreational and academic use. Irresponsible fire use threatens all of these values. We have been in drought conditions for the past 9 months and the vegetation is very dry. This past weekend the Rice County Sheriff issued a ban on all management fires. While the Arboretum staff conduct carefully planned vegetation management fires, other fires could easily become wildfires. In addition to a fire destroying research projects or threatening Arb users, the damage caused to the Arboretum by the fire department responding to an escaped fire would be considerable. Costs for fire control efforts by the fire department are often assessed to the party responsible.
Camp fires are allowed in four locations in the Upper Arb – please limit your fires to these locations. Cleaning up after your events is your personal responsibility – whether in your dorm, in a lounge, or in the many outdoor spaces that are found on our campus. The Arboretum is for all of the Carleton Community to enjoy – please respect the space and take care of it. Oh, and if you were at the party and lost your new iphone, please be in touch.