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National Civilian Community Corps Planting Trees to Green Up Alliant San Diego Campus

Thursday, January 15, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nicolette Toussaint

San Diego, January 2009  - The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) has joined Alliant International University in Scripps Ranch in returning the campus and its surrounding areas to their pristine beauty. The Cedar fire, in fall of 2004, destroyed much of the vegetation surrounding the campus and scorched many of the trees.

Large oak trees, donated by the Center for Sustainable Energy, are being planted to provide shade to create greater energy efficiency for campus buildings. Alliant’s goal for this program is to cut energy usage by 10%.

During the eight weeks of the project, January 7 through February 27, NCCC members are living in campus housing. By day, they are planting trees and constructing an automated sprinkling system. They will also be clearing brush to avert future threats of fire to the campus.

The 2004 Cedar fire, which prompted an evacuation of the Scripps Ranch Campus, was actually the second fire to threaten the university. In the fall of 2003, another wildfire was beaten back from the campus by San Diego firefighters who stayed on the evacuated campus, sleeping in student housing, until the danger had passed.

The two firestorms have largely spared the campus, Alliant's Scripps Ranch Campus is now one of the San Diego area’s largest remaining open areas, and it is an oasis for wildlife in the region. Last fall, a family of owls nested there to raise their young. Rabbits are often spotted, and coyotes and even the occasional mountain lion have been seen. (Those rare sightings have led to the mountain lion’s status as the official campus mascot.)

The NCCC's work is part of Alliant’s “Bridge to the Future Campaign,” a campus redevelopment effort that has raised more than 3 million dollars to renovate the San Diego campus.

Among the early achievements of the Bridge to the Future Campaign have been the renovation of the Walter Library, new quarters for the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. As part of the campaign, the Student Center in McDonald Hall also received new flooring, wall coverings, lighting, furnishings and restrooms. That renewal, a collaborative project between the Student Government Associations, the University and Sodexho Corporation, won an architectural award from American School and University for Outstanding Design for an Interior Renovation.

Formed in July 2001 by the merger of the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) and United States International University (USIU), Alliant is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with a history distinguished by innovation. Alliant offers students a choice of six California campuses: Fresno, Irvine, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco and a campus in Mexico City. Alliant also runs pioneering programs for psychologists in Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China. Alliant also attracts professionals from across the US to its on-line program in psychopharmacology.

AmeriCorps NCCC is part of AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs created to improve the environment, enhance education, increase public safety, and assist with disaster relief and other unmet human needs. The Pacific Region campus, located in Sacramento, California serves Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the territories of Guam and Samoa. The Pacific Region campus is one of four campuses in the United States; the others are located in Perry Point, Maryland; Vinton, Iowa; and Denver, Colorado.

NCCC members, 18-24, must complete at least 1,700 hours of service during their 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $4,725 to help pay for college or to pay school loans. Other benefits include leadership development, team building skills, increased self-confidence and the satisfaction of knowing that they have made a real difference in communities across the country.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For information about applying to an AmeriCorps program, call 1-800-942-2677 (1-800-94-ACORP) or visit the website at

Alliant’s programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) the State of California Board of Education, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. the American Psychological Association (APA), the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

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Tree planting photos courtesy of Tony Manzano

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