Proposal for the establishment of the SNHU arboretum

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Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University’s Manchester campus is currently experiencing tremendous growth. With rapid development following increased enrollment, the school’s natural and ecological heritage is quickly disappearing. This paper proposes an alternative form of development: the preservation and cultivation of ≈20-35 acres of forested land on the campus for the purposes of creating an Arboretum. This research shows the immense benefits to both the school and community at large by such an initiative, including, briefly: providing unparalleled and unique educational and academic opportunities for students both on campus and at local schools; increased recruitment and retention of both highly-qualified students and faculty; serving as a flagship for support and promotion of the school’s sustainability efforts; raising local awareness of environmental and social issues; and benefiting the health and safety of the entire community. Additionally, this research shows high levels of support for the Arboretum from the community and the faculty of SNHU, as it directly supports responsible school growth, the UC Strategic Plan, the Manchester Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy, the State of New Hampshire’s Priority Forest Landscapes, and the Governor’s proclamation of 2015 as “A Year of STEM,” among many other initiatives. With suitable forested land rapidly being swallowed by “hard” development and construction, and a critical need for unique STEM education opportunities, it is imperative that the school act now to set aside this natural landscape. The Arboretum has unequaled potential to provide the utmost benefit to the students, staff, faculty, and local and statewide communities for generations to come. (Author abstract)