Eastern Nazarene College has become a hotbed for native plants thanks to the efforts of the Grounds Manager Sam Mohnkern and his graduate assistant, Jessica Valadez. Native Species according to Mohnkern, “create a
better balance for the environment” by sourcing different types of food and providing a livable
habitat for Quincy’s wildlife.” A few examples of these native plants can be found against some
of the dorm buildings and alongside the flagpole bed.
More and more students come into ENC without knowing that their school
is an extension of an arboretum. Not just any arboretum, but the established and certified
Babcock Arboretum, respectively named after Professor J. Verner Babcock.
An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to trees and plants. In its true essence, an
arboretum serves those who seek an understanding of how agriculture works. You can find
arboretums in parks, and campuses like ours.
Since its launch in 1993, Babcock Arboretum has continued to strive to build renewable
resources for our campus. From edible plants to starting a community garden, Babcock
Arboretum seeks to expand into itself as Eastern Nazarene College enters its 100th Anniversary
Babcock Arboretum is a vital resource that has gone largely unrecognized but can play a significant
part in a student’s life, especially if their degree is in Environmental Science. According to Jessica
Valadez, who holds the title of Assistant Ground’s Manager, there is a “lack of awareness”
amongst prospective students who might find interest in our campus because it is an arboretum.
Valadez hopes to advocate for more arboretums by starting an environmental club as well as
plant a community garden outside the gym.
You can follow the Arboretum on Instagram at @babcockarboretum.