West Shore Community College, in partnership with the Nature Club and A Few Friends for the Environment of the World (AFFEW), recently planted seven black willow saplings around the WSCC pond. The black willow trees are an addition to campus that will enhance the environment but also provide unique educational opportunities for students.

According to Julia Chambers, president of AFFEW, black willows were chosen for their significant ecological contributions. They are well-known for their deep roots and lush foliage, making them an ideal choice for areas surrounding bodies of water. This specific variety of willow has a proven track record in wetland restoration projects across the United States. While it is native to the US, it’s relatively rare in our region. With recent warming trends, it is anticipated that the black willow will play a crucial role in the local ecosystem.

The black willow saplings will also serve as an educational tool. Professor of Biology, Dr. Paul Bilinksi stated, “Willow trees have a well-researched history of providing medicinal properties that students can examine. Their leaves, bark, and reproductive structures will add a unique dimension to our biology and local flora classes, creating countless “aha” moments for our students. Even the diseases to which they are susceptible will create learning moments.”

To learn more about WSCC or to sign up for classes, visit westshore.edu.