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CCC Has Gone (Pink and) Green with Commitment to Threatened Species

 

Camden County College ranks among the nation’s top associate’s degree-producing institutions, introduced the first two-year program in video game design and offered the first fully online paramedic studies program.

 

But these aren’t the College’s only unique attributes. The Blackwood Campus in Gloucester Township also is home to one of the world’s highest-quality populations of swamp pink.

Swamp pink (Helonias bullata) is a wetlands-dwelling member of the lily family that once inhabited areas from New York to Georgia but is now found mostly in New Jersey. Images can be viewed online at www.fws.gov/northeast/njfieldoffice/Endangered/swamppink.html.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated swamp pink as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1988. Although federal and state laws provide some protections for threatened plants, voluntary conservation agreements with landowners are crucial to saving swamp pink.

 

An 83-acre portion of CCC’s Blackwood Campus, which is owned by the College and is home to hiking trails and 37 acres of wetlands, is heavily populated by swamp pink. To aid preservation efforts, the College trustees approved a permanent deed restriction that includes development buffers to help maintain the ecological integrity of the area.

 

To recognize this contribution to federal conservation efforts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service named Camden County College as a Recovery Partner. Wendy Walsh, a biologist with the Service’s New Jersey Field Office, presented President Raymond Yannuzzi and the trustee board with a certificate of appreciation.

 

A large-scale placard that shows this certificate and tells the swamp pink story has been mounted in the College’s Connector Building. Photographs of the presentation and the plant also are depicted.

 

Preserving swamp pink is just one of the many ways that CCC has been “going green.” The College became a smoke-free institution in July 2009, and it then launched its Green Initiative to improve, conserve and enhance the campus environment by practicing sustainability and creating healthier conditions.


Published: January 07, 2011