USF St. Pete students plant trees ahead of international climate change event

10/07/10 Kate Bradshaw
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The political climate in Florida may often be icy when it comes to the environment, but that’s not curbing action by green activists. An environmental group at USF-St. Pete is greening things up around campus ahead of an international observance of climate change.

Kira Barrera is a spokesperson for USF St. Pete’s Student Environmental Awareness Society, also known as “SEAS.” She says the group had a lot of red tape to cut through in order to do what it’s doing today. You can hear the shovels pounding soil in the background as she explains why they’re planting ten trees on the campus green.

The trees in question are called red buds. Unlike much of the foliage you’ll see across the Tampa Bay landscape, it’s native to the Sunshine State. Barrera says using trees that would be here anyway is key.

She says the project is a collaboration among several campus groups as well as organizations like Repower America, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Defenders of Wildlife. Ten trees may not exactly sop up all the CO2 that humans have spewed into the atmosphere over the centuries, but Barrera says they do have their symbolic value.

Today’s tree planting is something of a preview for Sunday, which is International Day of Climate Action. That day’s main event starts at 10 am at Little Bayou Wilderness Park, at 301 55th Avenue South in St. Petersburg. Organizers plan tree and plant giveaways, live music, and free bike tune-ups, among other things. Psychology major Will McCormack says he’s participating because it’s about time there was positive action on behalf of the environment.

Members of SEAS say they do what they do to combat political indifference on the part of state and federal government when it comes to climate change. You can find out more about SEAS at

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