[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]BETHANY, W.Va. – Members of the Bethany College Tri-Beta Club are mapping the trees across campus and asking for help in purchasing signage.

So far, about 10 members of the club have identified about 60 noteworthy trees on the Bethany campus based on qualities such as size and species, said Ian Nelson, an environmental science major who is part of the project.

“We were inspired to do something especially with the diversity of trees on campus,” Nelson said.

The trees will be labeled with UV-stable aluminum signs that will include such details as the tree’s common name, scientific name, and a QR code that will link to a website providing more information.

The students will affix the signs with spring-activated screws that will allow the tree to grow without damaging the marker, Nelson said. Other trees across campus will have smaller ID labels.

The estimated cost of the project is $500. Donate online or mail a check to Bethany College, 31 E. Campus Drive, Bethany, WV 26032. Include Bethany College Trails in the memo line. Or text BCTRAILS to 41444.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Donate Online” color=”green” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]Tri-Beta students envision a tree walk that encourages people to take note of the diversity of plant life that the campus has to offer. The tree walk will tie into the Bethany Trail System, which features five interconnected paths over four miles.

Tri-Beta is using a similar project at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, as its model.

The goal, Nelson said, is to have the tree-mapping effort completed by Earth Day.

The Tri-Beta project dovetails with a renewed focus on Bethany’s natural assets.

On April 20, Bethany will welcome Dr. Joan Maloof, professor emeritus at Salisbury University, for an Earth Day event at 12:30 p.m. at the Outdoor Amphitheatre. In 2012, Maloof founded the Old-Growth Forest Network with a goal of preserving, protecting and promoting the nation’s remaining old-growth forests.

Maloof is a renowned ecologist who has written four books, including “Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests.”

So far, the Old-Growth Forest Network includes more than 100 forests. In October, Bethany College’s Parkinson Forest became the first site in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle to be included.

In September, about 170 people volunteered to clean up the Bethany Trail System.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]