On Saturday, Feb. 27, over a dozen volunteer students gathered to participate in a challenge taking place across the state of Tennessee: plant 50,000 trees in a single day.

Alexandra Wills, one of the volunteer coordinators, said the project was to help combat erosion and water pollution in Clarksville.

“[APSU] is planting 250 trees,” Wills said.

According to Wills, “170 of them are being planted at the Farm, while about 80 of them are being planted here on campus.”

In order to plant the trees, volunteers dug holes in the clay-filled ground roughly as deep as the shovels used to dig them. After placing the tree shoots in the holes, the volunteers placed fertilizer pellets in the holes to boost the initial growth of the trees.

After filling the holes with dirt again, the volunteers placed protective plastic tubes over the tree shoots with netting over the top to keep birds away and a bamboo stick to keep the tube upright. This was to ensure the tree would grow upright during its first stage in life and protect it from wildlife that might tear it up.

An online application was necessary to volunteer. Senior social work major Ben Pafford filled out the application after receiving an email from Wills about the event the previous Wednesday.

“She said it was supposed to be rocky,” Pafford said, “and that she could use some help. I like helping out with things like nature conservation.”

Pafford said he enjoys nature and its beauty.

“Any work that preserves the land is a good thing, because this is the land we live on,” Pafford said.

Though it is unlikely all of the trees will survive, Wills said the work was still important.

“When you plant trees, you’re planning for the future,” Wills said. “We’re planning for the future of APSU, and this is something all students should care about.”