More than 200 volunteers participated in the 17th annual Plant the Campus Red event on Friday, April 22, to celebrate Earth Day and to beautify APSU.

The event lasted about two hours as students, faculty, staff and community members went to 13 locations around campus and planted approximately 3,500 flowers and 25 trees.

Volunteers planted seven varieties of annual flowers and 10 tree species, including five types of fruit trees.

Carol Clark, the chair of the Community Activities Committee, oversaw the event and said it is a great opportunity to give back to the school.

“I think we all have an obligation to give back to others and improve the space in which we live,” Clark said. “I hope this event allows students to do that.”

Plant the Campus Red began in 1999 as a way to help the university recover from the tornado damage, which left much of the university’s plant life damaged or dead. Since then, initiatives such as Plant the Campus Red have restored and improved the campus’s natural beauty and led to the Arbor Day Foundation certifying APSU as a Tree Campus USA school.

For APSU to maintain the Tree Campus USA distinction, it must show dedication to the trees on campus by having a tree advisory committee, a tree care plan and hold events related to tree care every year. Plant the Campus Red serves as the school’s Arbor Day observance event.

Last year, APSU spent $150,000 in tree maintenance and upkeep, according to Wes Powell, the Assistant Director of Landscape and Grounds.

This year, tree planting returned to the event after being absent for several years and it was the second event this semester devoted to planting trees on campus. In February, volunteers planted 250 trees around campus for 50k Tree Day.

Clark reported 19 groups, such as a landscaping class, the basketball team and student organizations like ROTC signed up for the event.

Students, like junior psychology major Jori Wright, agreed with Clark and said the event was a good way to give back.

“I wanted to do something beyond myself,” Wright said. “You have a whole community, a whole school, that’s helping plant and contribute to the campus.”