The Green League aims to make William Paterson University more sustainable

Courtesy of @thegreenleague_wpu

Courtesy of @thegreenleague_wpu

Danielle Dix, Contributing Writer

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The Green League, the newly-formed environmental sustainability club at William Paterson University, is attempting to create a community garden on campus. Pending approval from WPU, the garden would be located either on the Speert green or on the grass plot between the Ben Shahn building and the Science Hall.

Students would be able to tend to the garden and benefit from the vegetables grown. Kaytlynn Knyfd, treasurer of The Green League, hopes to get school funding for the project and make it completely student-run. The garden is in its early stages of planning, but there is a committee dedicated to its development. The garden would benefit the environment and also, students and communities in need of fresh produce.

“We are hoping to donate our produce to local food pantries and soup kitchens,” Knyfd said, “Plus, getting your hands dirty from time to time is good for the soul. It’s meditative and healing to care for a plant from seed to sprout and see its life cycle right before your eyes.”

The Green League has formed multiple sub-committees within the club that will each focus on a specific event or initiative. The leaders of the club hope that this will prompt students to actively take part in achieving the club’s goals. On the first meeting there were over 30 students ready to participate.

The club also plans to increase awareness of environmental issues and make William Paterson University a more environmentally-conscious campus.The club will distribute information and spread awareness through entertaining events. The Green League’s first project will be an open mic night, which is planned for Mar. 21 at 7 P.M. in the multipurpose room. Members aim to spread awareness about environmental issues in an interactive way, with music and trivia. This event will be a  collaboration with ATMOSS, William Paterson’s public speaking club.

The League wants to start small by improving William Paterson’s campus and nearby areas with hands-on projects. The club wants to address the recycling problem in campus dorms. When asked about recycling in the dorms, WPU students Shannon Maragh, a senior and campus resident, and Latasia Lynn, a resident and member of the club, said that recycling bins “fill up quickly” and some buildings’ bins are outside. This makes some residents reluctant to recycle. The League plans to place more recycling bins throughout campus. Improving the availability and ease of recycling will hopefully increase recycling rates at William Paterson.

Once the weather is warmer, the club also plans to set up park cleanups for nearby areas that need attention. Trash and possibly dangerous debris is a prevalent issue in state parks, especially in ones near more urban locations, where green areas are needed the most.

When asked why she wanted to start the green league, president Allison Neumann said,“I thought that creating a club would be a great place to share this passion as well as make a difference on campus.” This passion is shared by many within the William Paterson student body, especially those with majors relating to environmental science and sustainability.

Dr. Nicole Davi, advisor of the Green League said, “the leaders of the Green League have already managed to get a ton of students involved in the club and they are super organized and motivated. I am very optimistic about what they can get done.“