Student-led tree planting initiative part of greener efforts

May 09, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's University Park Campus is getting greener -- and cleaner -- thanks to the efforts of student organizations and the University's Office of Physical Plant.

The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) has established a new Tree Planting Initiative as an opportunity for student clubs and groups to sponsor the planting of commemorative trees on campus. The first group of trees were planted in April in an area south of the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Initiative works this way: Student organizations donate $150 to sponsor a tree. The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) will donate the trees and provide labor support on the day of planting. A commemorative central plaque will be engraved with the names of sponsoring organizations.

UPUA donated its proceeds to help support the costs of an Earth Day Festival, sponsored by Eco-Action, a campus environmental awareness group. The event, held Saturday, April 21, on the Hetzel Union Building (HUB) lawn, featured concerts, presentations and other programming designed to draw awareness to environmental issues.

"OPP sees the Tree Planting Initiative as an excellent opportunity to support the students' environmental concerns," Thomas Flynn, landscape architect, said.

John Keefe, UPUA public relations chair, said the group expects some 20 campus organizations to participate in the Initiative.

"We have received commitments from a wide array of student groups, including fraternities and sororities, student environmental organizations, and college student councils," he said. "In the long term, these trees will add to the beauty of the University Park campus. And they will be a lasting reminder of the student organizations' contributions to the beautification of the campus."

In another tree planting project, organized by Eco-Action, students planted seedling trees around the University's compost facility near Innovation Park as part of a carbon forest planting. Student volunteers did the planting. OPP provided the trees, expert assistance and necessary tools.

An estimated 500 students helped clean up the campus on Saturday, April 14, in an effort coordinated by OPP and Spring Up, a group made up of a wide variety of student organizations. Volunteers were involved in a number of projects, including antiskid cleanup and litter pickup along campus roads, mulching of some planting beds, tree planting at various campus locations and Pollock Road cleanup.

OPP also partnered with Eco-Action, the Center for Sustainability, the Sustainability Coalition and other groups on a number of other Earth Day-related projects. Included are:

-- Green bus tours of campus were given three times during the day on Friday, April 20.

-- Approximately 14,000 wildflower cards were distributed to campus residents for a mass planting at the top of the HUB lawn on April 21. Wildflower seed card planting began at 11 a.m. and kicked off formal Earth Day events.

-- OPP led a cleanup effort on Saturday, April 21, to remove litter from University property, which drains into the Spring Creek watershed. Volunteers assisted in cleaning the Penn State Duck Pond and other University watershed areas.

For photos, visit Penn State Live at online.

  • IMAGE: Greg Grieco

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010