Students, faculty, staff, and friends from the community worked together to beautify campus on Friday, March 24, as part of the Office of Sustainability’s Earth Week celebration. Over 115 volunteers from around the campus community participated in this fifth annual celebration of Wake Forest’s designation as a Tree Campus USA.

Before the planting and clean-up work began, participants gathered to hear from graduate students in the School of Divinity and the Department of Biology, who spoke about human relationships with the non-human environment, from eco-feminist and scientific perspectives. Gail Bretan, Director of Jewish Life, also led participants in readings and song in celebration of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for trees.

Following the ceremony, students divided into groups to plant five trees along the Reynolda Village trail. The trees planted included two redbuds, a small native tree most notable for its rosy-pink flowers; one white oak, a native long-lived, majestic tree; one eastern Hophornbeam, a graceful, native tree with fruit that resembles hops; and one Carolina Silvertree, a native tree that thrives in shady habitats and blooms white bell-shaped flowers in April. Following the planting, the groups collected litter from the banks of the creek head, up into the forested areas above and below the Reynolda Village Trail.

This service event, and our efforts throughout the year to care for our beloved trees, honor our commitment to the ideals that support the Tree Campus USA designation. Event partners included Landscape Services, Residence Life and Housing, Office of Student Engagement, and the Chaplain’s Office. Photos from the event can be found here.