The 2009-2010 school year has been a very active one for the Glenville Environmental Organization (GEO), and the group’s member’s remarkable efforts have been rewarded. The Glenville State College student organization has been named the ‘Outstanding Student Organization for Community Engagement’ by the GSC Office of Student Activities. “This is the first time this award has been given. It is a very special award that reflects the extraordinary efforts of GEO. The group completed over twenty-five projects this year. Their projects impacted our campus and community as well as locations around the state. They did a wonderful job of incorporating service learning into their projects,” said Kipp Colvin, GSC Director of Student Activities. The award was presented to GEO during Volunteer Day which was held at GSC on April 29th.
GEO is ten members strong with a stated purpose to understand future environmental problems, gain experience in governments and private businesses, participate in community service projects, and to get exposure as to why and how environmental decisions are made for particular programs.
Dr. Milan Vavrek, GSC Associate Professor of Natural Resource Management, is the faculty advisor for GEO. Under his leadership, GEO has had an outstanding year filled with many activities on behalf of the environment and community. “Our members have tackled a large number of projects that involved recycling, beautification, stabilizing soils and slopes, public lands cleanup. Alicia Riggleman, GEO president, and Heather Dove, GEO secretary, were particularly instrumental in initiating and completing each of the tasks. I am proud of their efforts and cannot praise them highly enough,” said Vavrek.
One of the most publicized activities that GEO has participated in this year is the tree plantings at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. The project is an on-going reclamation and intervention partnership between the GSC Land Resources Program and Yeager Airport as an environmental follow-up to a runway extension project at the airport. The reclamation project calls for more than 30,000 tree plantings to reforest the slope.
Another program that GEO participated in, with the help of the GSC Forestry Club, was the Mountaineer Treeways Program. Over one hundred trees were planted at the Gilmer County Recreation Center and the Glenville Golf Club. The purpose for this project was to help control soil erosion, decrease sediment deposition, and improve aesthetics.
GEO has also worked closely with the Army Corps of Engineers at Stonewall Jackson Lake participating in National Public Lands Day to help clean up and seed the Friendship Trail. Students also visited the lake on May 1st to help clean up debris and build some fish habitats.
Other activities on GEO’s list of accomplishments included: on-campus canned food drives, paper recycling, the Adopt-an-Angel program, and a vegetable plant and shrub sale.
“The Glenville Environmental Organization has worked with many community members throughout the year. We really enjoy being able to meet these people, while working to help improve the environment. We have had an exceptional year and are looking forward to continuing these efforts next year,” said GEO President Alicia Riggleman.
For more information about the Glenville State College GEO or any of the group’s projects, contact Dr. Milan Vavrek at email@example.com or (304) 462-4135.