Restoration ecology gives students an avenue to connect with the world and make real change in their local environment, said Kate Ballantine, assistant professor of environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College. She has spent four years working with students to restore a small stream and surrounding wetlands on the campus.
Ballantine and the project were recently featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
As the article notes of the project, the entire wetland is a living classroom. Aspects of the project have included removing invasive species, replanting native flora, and constructing a boardwalk for the public.
“Yes, humans can wreak havoc on the planet but we can also care for the things that we love,” said Ballantine, who is the founding director of Mount Holyoke’s Restoration Ecology Program. “Restoration ecology shifts that narrative.”