The long, dry Costa Rican summer is coming to a close and the rains of the green season are on their way. This is a time for change and new beginnings, a process of transformation that we as a University embrace with open arms. Texas Tech-Costa Rica has started to initiate traditions from the Lubbock campus, and what better way to start than by giving our local change of seasons a warm welcome by celebrating Arbor Day.
Arbor Day is one of Texas Tech’s most renown traditions, a custom which began in 1937. When the main campus was under construction, most of the funds went toward buildings and labs rather than beautifying the campus. This all changed when President Bradford Knapp introduced a way that would transform the University into the beautiful place that it is today.
Since 1937 until this day, TTU dedicates one day every Spring to celebrate Arbor Day. On the first day of this 82-year-old tradition, 20,000 trees were planted. On Saturday, April 6, Texas Tech-Costa Rica adopted this wonderful tradition, integrating it into our campus life by celebrating Arbor Day at TTU-CR.
Giving it a bit of Costa Rican flair, students, faculty and staff, along with our guests from Lubbock’s Student Government and Activities Board, went to Poás Volcano with the help of Asociación ProParques to support maintenance of trails in this national park.
Since Poás Volcano is active, it is often closed to the public, but with special permission volunteer groups are allowed to donate time and work in the park. Thanks to Asociación PorParques, a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve national parks, TTU-CR students were able to experience the unique adventure of clearing paths while also getting to see the volcano’s beautiful blue lagoon and crater.
“The volcano was clear, and we could see the lagoon,” Stamatis Pouliasis, TTU-CR mathematics professor, said. “I liked seeing the view. It was great!”
Costa Rica cares deeply about preserving and protecting the environment. In fact, Costa Rica is the first country to pledge to become Carbon Neutral by 2050. Even though this small Central American country accounts for just 0.03 percent of the Earth’s surface, it contains nearly 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity. TTU-CR takes pride in being part of an ecological community and we value sustainability while encouraging our students to do the same.
Our country’s flora and fauna are precious to all of us, and we want our fellow Red Raiders to explore and share their love for this tropical wonder that we are fortunate to call home. Become a Sustainability Guru and help us protect our planet by joining us next semester and sharing your green ideas.