Student Rep / Member Update: Juaquin Goodbar!
One of NJSSC’s Student Reps, Juaquin Goodbar, has been helping organize several projects as the president of the Environmental Club at Raritan Valley Community College. Along with fellow club members, Juaquin put in many hours of weekend work on a rain garden on campus this past semester. The main goal of the project was to remove the invasive plant species that were dominating the rain garden, preventing the native plants from thriving. After several dedicated weekends of club members clipping and ripping out plants, the rain garden finally started to look good again. Aside from the ecological benefits, the rain garden project serves as a sort of outdoor classroom where students can apply what they’ve learned in environmental courses, and even teach others that may be less familiar with the scientific context behind the seemingly simple work. Service learning benefits the students as much as it benefits the local community - and in this case, the local environment as well. Other service learning projects from this past semester included tracking down and destroying spotted lanternfly egg masses on campus, and keeping inventory of tree saplings that were planted in previous years by now-graduated RVCC students.
Moving forward, Juaquin and the rest of the club’s leaders plan to work with campus sustainability interns to plant native species in the areas of the garden where invasive plants have been removed. The club leaders and sustainability interns are also collaboratively working on other ongoing campaigns, like Take Back the Tap (where they previously were able to get a partial ban passed on the use of plastic water bottles for student events on campus), and the fight for the New Jersey Green Amendment. They plan to continue their work on the NJ Green Amendment campaign this semester, as well as more local initiatives on campus.