KU Center for Sustainability and the KU Tree Advisory Board will host a tree planting event Friday as a part of their Replant Mount Oread project.
The event is called Trick or Trees, and it is the first fall event for Replant Mount Oread. Students and volunteers will be planting nine new trees between Marvin and Lindley halls. The Center for Sustainability needs $5,000 to cover the cost of the trees, and it is asking for donations online through KU Endowment.
Director of the Center for Sustainability Jeff Severin said more trees need to be planted because between 80 and 90 trees on campus are cut down each year due to storm damage, disease or because the trees may be at the end of their natural lives. He said Trick or Trees is a good way to plant trees and involve students in the process.
“Students will have an opportunity to come out, pick up a shovel and actually do the planting themselves,” Severin said.
Victor Zaharopoulos, a student representative on the KU Tree Advisory Board, said he will be at Trick or Trees on Friday, along with about 30 other volunteers. He said when there are a lot of volunteers at events like Trick or Trees, people get “energized” about planting trees on campus.
“If we can drum up that energy for these types of things, we can keep this going for years down the road,” Zaharopoulos said. “I’m a senior. I’m going to be leaving KU soon, but I’m hoping these types of things can continue to go on.”
Severin said there is a need for extra funding for trees on campus because the University budget only allows for the planting of about 50 trees a year. He said the Center for Sustainability raises donations to cover the cost of projects like Trick or Trees, so it will have funds if something unexpected happens, like having to remove a tree from campus.
“The goal is really to raise enough money with each project to cover the cost of that effort, so that we can use those additional funds to address some of the other needs throughout the year,” Severin said.
Zaharopoulos said the cost of planting trees is worth it because of the oxygen they provide and the beauty they give to campus.
“Trees are one of the few investments that actually appreciate in value over time,” Zaharopoulos said. “It costs a lot to put these trees in, it’s several thousand dollars, but over time they grow larger, they start giving back more.”
— Edited by Alyssa Scott