Members of the Con­ser­vation Club | Courtesy


The Con­ser­vation Club will col­lab­orate with the City of Hillsdale’s recre­ation department, proposing a project which would implement fishing line recep­tacles into Baw Beese Lake this spring.

“Everyone in the club is super pas­sionate about plastic in the envi­ronment,” said senior Andrea Wallace, pres­ident of the Con­ser­vation Club. “Plastic has def­i­nitely been a theme for us this semester. It’s exciting to see that come to fruition and actually do some­thing.”

Junior Jimmy McGrath, the club’s trea­surer, has been in contact with Hillsdale’s recre­ation department as well as a company that recycles fishing line for free.

“Basi­cally all we’re doing is building the recep­tacles for this, and then we’ll send it in to this company for recy­cling,” McGrath said. “Obvi­ously the goal is to reduce pol­lution in the water.”

The club has also taken on smaller projects.

“We pulled five tires out of St. Joseph River along with about 10 bags of trash,” McGrath said. McGrath also plans on fos­tering a better rela­tionship between the college and the town.

“We’re neighbors just like they are,” he said. “We feel it’s only right for us to be good stewards.”

Michelle Loren, director of Hillsdale’s recre­ation department, expressed delight when she found out about Hillsdale’s con­ser­vation club.

“This was the first I had ever heard of the group existing on campus. I was pleas­antly sur­prised to learn they existed and had taken an interest in our community’s outdoor resources,” Loren said in an email. “They had done all their research with regard to the recep­tacles: ben­efits, con­struction, and placement. All the city had to do was give its blessing and help plan the placement of them.”

McGrath and the Con­ser­vation Club under­stand the impor­tance of these recep­tacles in Hillsdale.

“Fishing lines can really interfere by getting tangled up with birds,” McGrath said. “They can also ingest them which don’t break down very easily in their stomach.”

McGrath explained man’s duty to pre­serve and protect the envi­ronment.

“We’re sup­posed to be care­takers of our common home,” he said. “We’ve all got to live here on Earth, and it’s important for us to rec­ognize that we want to make it a better place to live.”

The club said it hopes it can make con­ser­vation a more fore­front idea among con­ser­v­a­tives.

“The club’s goal is twofold: one, it’s to do con­ser­vation work, but two, it’s to advocate for con­ser­vation. That’s espe­cially important at a place like Hillsdale where people have a lot of mis­con­cep­tions about stew­ardship,” Wallace said. “I think as con­ser­v­a­tives and as Chris­tians, we should be moti­vated to respect what God gave us.”