I've always loved being outdoors, even in the womb my mom tells me…
It has always been my mission in life to show others the beauty and simple bliss of enjoying the natural world. Four years ago I fell in love with plants, and never looked back. They are beautifully diverse organisms that you can study, admire, and find essentially anywhere. Im gradually entering my final moments at Cleveland State this May, graduating with a Bachelors in Environmental Science. My name is Joe King, my focus is Plant Ecology.
I first felt it when I started working for Cleveland State’s Grounds dept. It was my job in the Horticulture Crew with 2 other Horticulturalists to maintain 83 acres of green space on campus. Weeding, mulching, planting, watering, monitoring, pruning, transplanting, and learning from people who have been maintaining urban green spaces for decades. Often times I truly feel like I was learning more about the environment with them then I was in traditional courses. The next step for me was to understand what truly drives plant diversity. I joined the Plant Ecology Lab at CSU and became a field technician. My main tasks were to assist in Plant Surveys in prairies, wetlands and urban vacant lots all over Northeast Ohio. My mission of urban sustainability took a more serious tone due to recent political decisions. I became the Vice President of Student Environmental Movement at CSU. Recruiting volunteers and planning sustainability focused events on and off campus. Trash clean ups, Stream Monitoring, Storm Drain Stenciling, Movie Screenings, Invasive Plant Control and Urban Gardening are a few of our main focuses this year.
For me, it is the mission of sustainability with a slight botanical flair. All of these experiences have shown me the wide array of human impact on the environment. I have been trying to make a difference for a while now. When I heard about this internship with Soil and Water I immediately applied. It's hard to find sustainability minded people outside environmental organizations and I wanted to increase our numbers. I figure the only way to repair the damage we humans cause is for us to do it together and do it selflessly.
What better way to help than helping to protect Earth’s Greatest Treasures, Soil and Water.
Blog author: Joe King, Program Intern