The Lorax at Penn State
The Lorax is a beloved children’s story (and upcoming movie) by Dr. Seuss, where Seuss paints a world where mankind never appreciated the earth. Because of our (and the Once-ler’s) recklessness, all the trees were chopped down, despite the pleas from the Lorax. This book advocates that society needs to be stewards of the environment, and to lose track of this message leads to decay and destruction.
At Penn State, the Office of the Physical Plant has decided to maintain order of the campus trees. To do so, they have created a registry, the Trees of Penn State. Their commitment to uphold the moral of The Lorax can be found in the site’s address, LORAX.opp.psu.edu. Here, one can find an interactive map that lists all the trees at University Park, a description of the species, as well as an individual tree’s dimensions. According to the website, over fourteen thousand of trees are on campus, but the OPP has only inventoried less than six thousand.
Jeffrey Dice, the Supervisor of Grounds Maintenance, says that registry is useful for the university because it allows them to document what trees it had bought and planted. With this information, the university can then plan what trees it ought to plant for the future. The OPP also keeps a list of Heritage Trees, a designation of a single tree that has achieved significant value to the community because of its age or it represents a significant person or event. When it comes to the students, Dice says that forestry professors require students to use the database for their classes.
The environment is an important feature for all our lives. The people of The Lorax neglected to maintain their ecosystem, and their world turned into a nightmare. The OPP has decided to preserve order in the environment at Penn State through its tree registry. From this database, students can learn the significance that trees have had on Penn State, and build a new appreciation for their campus.