‘Plant the Campus Red’ has become one of the longest running traditions on the APSU campus.

It started after the 1999 tornado tore up trees and other shrubbery throughout the area. Students wanted to do something to replace the greenery that was lost. A beautiful tradition was born out of a devastating disaster.

It was originally called “Operation Restoration” due to the purpose of the project. It changed the following year to its current name in homage to Clarksville’s own event entitled “Plant the Town Red.”

Assistant Director of Landscape and Grounds for the APSU campus Wes Powell describes this as one of his favorite events on campus.

“This is one of the few events that brings so many volunteers together.” Powell said. “Not only are students, staff, and faculty involved, but there are many people from the surrounding community that participate as well.”

There are some people that volunteer for this project every year. This is their way of giving something back to the earth that we all cherish.

This was a chance to literally get down and dirty, along with other GOVs to produce something that can be cherished for years after graduation.

The volunteers could look all around with a sense of pride knowing that they literally had a hand in helping the campus look the way it does.

This year’s approach to the beautification project was a little different as we had to wear masks and practice social distancing while we were digging in the dirt.

Being on our hands and knees and digging in the dirt was part of the fun of this project, as it allowed some of us to feel like kids again, especially knowing that the end result would be such stunning scenery.

With so much ugliness happening within our country right now, it was a wonderful feeling to have so many people work together to create something beautiful.