On September 1st, Hurricane Ida hit Temple’s Ambler campus with tornadoes.
Dr. Vicki Lewis McGarvey, Director of Temple Ambler, was able to give some insight on how they are doing so far:
“As far as buildings, classes are back on schedule, so we have the Learning Center and Dixon Hall are the primary classroom buildings that are open, the greenhouse has classes meeting there, as well as cottage hall. We do have a wider hall also, so the majority of our classroom buildings are open and running again. We do have a couple buildings that are off-line; the library and Bright Hall have severe roof damage they are not being used right now.”
But Ambler wasn’t on its own after the disaster. McGarvey said the next morning after the storm there were hundreds of people on campus.
“The support we’ve gotten from the main campus has just been incredible, as well as our own alumni and our friends and neighbors, we’ve just had a tremendous outpour of support and volunteers to come and help us clean up.”
Dr. McGarvey also said that Ambler has been reviewing its campus safety plans and are currently working on plans on where to go and what to do for students and staff in the event that a tornado hits again.
This disaster is devastating, but Ambler wants to turn this situation into an opportunity to expand its environmental education and climate change studies
McGarvey said, “So we have across the street an old growth forest which was really just decimated by the tornado and it’s part of our field station, so we’ve had biology students, mostly, working there all summer and so they are switching their research now from studying an old growth forest to studying the recovery of an old growth forest.”
They are always looking to have more volunteers, which you can sign up for on their website.
They have also set up a relief fund for anyone who wishes to donate to help them recover, “We have established an arboretum and campus relief fund where anybody can donate either to the Arboretum, to the field station, or to the campus generally to help with our recovery. But there are a lot of intangible things here that people can help us either by donating or by coming and helping us clean up and re-plant.”
For more information on how you can help Temple’s Ambler campus, you can go to their recovery page here. This includes information about the relief fund and volunteering.