Just like every spring semester, our campus is once again showing us the power and beauty of nature. And through that majestic display, I believe our environment is reminding us of how necessary and connected to us it really is.
Surrounded by blooming flowers and newly sprouted grass, our walks to and from class have become feasts for the eyes. Reading, studying or just enjoying some time outside in a stunning landmarks like our Grove is now a greater privilege than ever.
Together with many of our historic buildings, it is this natural beauty and the landscaping efforts of our university that make our campus one of the most beautiful in the country.
For that reason, we should not forget the importance of nature in all of our lives. Not just because plants make Earth livable by producing oxygen but also because nature is the essence and color of our own existence.
All of us, along with the monumental oak and elm trees, the blooming tulips and even the sly squirrels that populate our campus, are ultimately connected by the same drive for life and by the same Earth.
Similarly to how squirrels in the Grove need the shelter and the seeds trees provide, we humans also benefit immensely from the flora and fauna all over our planet.
But not all the life on this planet is as privileged as the one on our campus. Most of our natural landmarks, which in a way are the “Groves” of our planet, are threatened by our human activities. Deforestation and rising temperatures and sea levels are impacting the Amazon Basin, the reefs of the Coral Sea and the ice caps of Antarctica, among innumerable others, in ways that we would never allow our Grove to be affected.
It is true that football season has a damaging effect on the Grove, but this fact just proves how human activity can be both a cause and a solution for environmental issues.
In the fall, tailgating affects our Grove in a way similar to how industry and human activity impact our planet. However, there are restrictions on cars and fire grills, as well as recycling options, that help us preserve our landmark for the following season. After tailgating season is over, our trees and animal life are left intact. The grass, though damaged, is allowed to regrow for the spring semester.
If we ever want some kind of change to make our Earth inhabitable for following generations, the spring “rebirth” of our Grove can be of great inspiration. And the best thing about it is that it’s happening right in front of us – all we need to do is go outside and open our eyes.
Francisco Hernandez is a junior international studies major from Valencia, Spain.