Barking up the wrong tree: The removal of Pine Grove is destroying campus environment


Peyton McKenzie

A December 2022 Hamden Quinnipiac News Network article stated that the South Quad construction would require the removal of 257 trees from Pine Grove.

Casey Wiederhold, Associate Photography Editor

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” 

I’m sure many people remember this famous quote from Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” I know that most students on Quinnipiac University’s campus walked to the College of Arts and Sciences and saw the South Quad construction at some point. Now when I look at our campus, some of the beauty is missing.

Quinnipiac University started construction on the South Quad over winter break. I came back to campus to see the trees of the Pine Grove forest were all still there, knowing that they were eventually going to be cut down. The transition from having all of these trees to not having any went by slowly, which was very frustrating because I enjoyed seeing the trees on my daily walk to CAS.

When I was looking into choosing colleges, the two largest factors for me were the program for my major and the look of the campus. I knew from the start that I did not want to go somewhere with too much of a city feel. When I stepped foot onto QU’s campus, it felt as though I was stepping into my backyard at home with all of the trees being there.

With the construction continuing through the next two years of my time here, I want to see a change come from the university. The Recreation and Wellness Center ended up looking very nice and operates well, with new plants inside and out. I hope to see the same efforts put in while working on the South Quad project.

There are so many impacts that are going to come with this construction. For one thing, there’s more air pollution, which is damaging in itself. Second, the homes of the organisms that live in the trees, like birds, are going to be destroyed. Third, the aesthetic of the school will be ruined.

I remember walking through the pathway between CAS and Tator Hall, taking pictures of the scenery as I made my way to class. My camera roll from August to November 2022 is filled with photographs of everything that I saw, whether I was going to class as the sun set or it was a gorgeous sunny day. Now, when I want to take photographs, all I see is the machinery being used to create the basis of the new residence hall and school buildings that will take the place of the Pine Grove.

Expanding our campus is certainly a great idea as it allows for more prospective students to join our community, but I can’t help but feel upset that the school is losing its natural beauty. The school is located right across from the Sleeping Giant State Park hiking trails, but if I take the trail that overlooks Quinnipiac, you could see trees stretched out for miles. If I was to stand on that overlook now, all I would see is construction.

The university is coming up with project after project to continue to improve the school and it is cool, however, I don’t quite understand the excitement of expanding the campus. There are so many benefits to it, but at what cost? 

Students are inconvenienced with a new route, students in the Commons Residence Hall have to deal with the noise at 7 a.m. when they could have classes that begin at later times and there has been nothing that really addresses what is going to happen with all of the wood that was chopped down. Disposing of all of that wood in a wasteful way would be a disappointing move on Quinnipiac’s part.

I’m not going to label myself as a “tree-hugger” for writing this article, I prefer the term “nature girl”. I know that I am unable to stop the trees from being cut down, the South Quad project is going to make sure of that. All I want is to have my environment be healthy and let the animals that live here go about their lives.

Quinnipiac should be compensating the cut down trees with real ones, or at least new ones near the South Quad. So as I end this article, I leave with another quote from the Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”