CU All-American wrestler nurtures a campus revival of nature

CU All-American wrestler nurtures a campus revival of nature

                                                                                                                                                            June 27, 2012
                                                                                                                                             For Immediate Release



 
Spencer Adams talks with students during the annual Earth Day ceremony at
Campbellsville University. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

 

By Chris Megginson, sports information director

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – As a freshman in 2008, Campbellsville University's Spencer Adams was looking for a place where he could momentarily escape the college life and find peace and quiet. He desired to be in nature, away from campus, but settled for a shaded storm drain at the corner of North Columbia Avenue and University Drive.

Today, that space is known as CU’s Log Cabin Park, developed over the past year by Adams’ student-based organization Green Minds.

Green Minds was created to help clean up Taylor County/Campbellsville and promote environment-conscious thinking among CU students. Adams, a three-time NAIA All-American wrestler from Marion, Ohio, developed his vision as a student in Dr. Richie Kessler’s freshman environment and man class.

“When Spencer first came to me with this idea, it was a pencil drawing on a piece of paper. He was tired of hearing of all of the environmental problems out there,” Kessler said.

“We all get tired of hearing people complain. Here was an instance where somebody was not complaining but actually working to build consensus and do something to make things better. I was all for that from the beginning.”

With Kessler’s advice, Adams worked to build the organization from the bottom-up as a student movement. Recruiting the help of his fellow wrestlers and some other environmental science students, Adams was determined to start the process of awareness on campus.

“I wanted other students to get in there and have a place where they can make their impact on campus. I wanted to establish that base for everyone else,” said Adams, who graduated in May with a degree in environmental science.

In the past year, Adams worked with Green Minds, Kessler and Rob Roberts, CU director of grounds and landscape development, to transform that edge of campus into a likeness of a small park with a cedar-log gazebo and bridge.

“There was a lot of harassment and persistence,” joked Roberts of Adams’ passion. “He’s had great ideas, and everyone loved them. We started with the gazebo, planting and bridge and now the ball’s rolling.”

After planting more than 60 species of native plants, three wildflower beds, 20 or so different shrubs and trees and multiple ferns, the park has become home to numerous types of birds, who frequent the park to sing to visitors.

“It’s been completely transformed from what it was … It’s like you’re not even on campus, but out at some far away cabin,” Adams said.

“This is the only place on campus you can hear all of the birds. You don’t (usually) get that in the middle of a city.”

This summer, Adams passed the Green Minds torch to fellow wrestler Derek Alsip. The Cincinnati, Ohio senior takes over the organization with the plan of giving international students a chance to plant a vegetable garden on the land. He also has plans for hiking trips this fall and fundraiser opportunities by building benches out of cedar logs. The organization has already sold many to pay for additional plants at the park.

“I don’t think you could have done this at any other university,” Alsip said. “The university provided us this opportunity.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

Download Printable Document