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December 17, 2013

Students construct 'green tree' as service learning project

Ada — East Central University students, as part of a service learning project for an advertising/public relations campaign class, formulated the idea for a “Green Tree” on display at Wintersmith Park during the holidays.

The students’ project was pitched to the Ada Recycling Coalition this fall. A smaller version of the tree, constructed by the ECU students, was on display at the Mabee Gereer Museum in Shawnee in November and the ARC loved the idea and had a larger version created at Wintersmith.

The Ada Recycling Coalition plans to grow the idea next year in the community.

“This is a start to what I hope will be a “Green Tree” tradition that my students helped make happen in the community,” said Bruce Hartley, instructor of mass communication.

The tree is constructed out of water bottles and scrap wood and a broom handle. Materials were found in trash cans around campus, on the side of the road and at the Ada recycling center drop off.

The idea for the project came from Paisley Prince, a junior mass communication major from Ada, as nine students from Hartley’s class worked on the project.

The Wintersmith tree was made from scratch, using items from the People’s Electric Cooperative. The spools on the big tree are old electrical spools and bottles were collected from ARC board members. The lights can be used year after year and recycled over and over again, according to Hartley.

“This project is a good example of service learning and ECU collaborating with the City of Ada. It’s also a good example of how the mass communication students are getting real-world PR/advertising experience that will allow them to make a difference in our world,” Hartley said.

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