Most area schools have a senior project or career elective in May and June in which students spend two to four weeks doing community service or working on a job they may be interested in pursuing after graduation.
Grove, who plans to major in computer engineering, and Sullivan, who is undecided about his future major, began working on their senior project in early May. They will complete their work tomorrow.
Sullivan spent his time researching the natural habitat of each tree, its botanical and common names, physical characteristics and landscape value. Grove spent seven hours most days writing a detailed computer program with multiple graphics. Using Sullivan's research, the program identifies and describes each tree at the touch of a key.
Sullivan said that he did not think much about trees before. "Now, whenever I look at a tree I think about how it works with the landscaping. I even recognize some trees."
Part of Grove's program includes a computer blueprint of the campus showing each tree and its location. Doug Linton, horticulturist and head groundskeeper at the school, said all of the information would be available in the school library.
Each tree is listed alphabetically. The computer can also call up color photographs of each tree. All of the information is available at the punch of a computer key.
Grove said he would continue updating the computer program until September, when he leaves for Elizabethtown College. Sullivan is headed for Vassar. Their cataloging, categorizing and map work will help make an arboretum out of the campus.
The idea for a campus arboretum started with Linton. Last summer, Grove worked with Linton taking inventory of the foliage at the school. The campus holds about 100 varieties of trees, including a Burr oak tree, one of the oldest in Pennsylvania, that stands 98 feet high and is 350 years old.
Linton said creating an arboretum would help make the school community aware of its environment. "That way people will think twice before taking any of them down," he said.
Linton said the arboretum at Friends' Central would be open to the public by reservation. He said the arboretum's official opening was scheduled for the coming school year when Friends' Central will celebrate its 150th anniversary.
There are 28 arboretums, gardens and historical houses listed by the Gardens Collaborative in the Philadelphia area including arboretums at Villanova University, Swarthmore and Haverford College. Friends' Central will be one of the only area high schools to have an arboretum.
Grove and Sullivan said their experience had been rewarding.
"I'm happy I could help out the school and pursue an interest (in computer programming) that I will be pursuing in college," Grove said.
Sullivan agreed, saying: "This has given me more of an awareness and a concern about trees."