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Get "down and dirty" at Plant the Campus Red

April 8, 2002

Slated for Saturday, April 20, Austin Peay State University's "Plant the Campus Red" has become a tradition with memorable beginnings.

The initial "Plant the Campus Red" was held in the spring after the Jan. 22, 1999, tornado denuded much of campus. With a spirit of determination and in defiance of the F-4 tornado's destruction, more than 400 faculty, staff, students, alumni and community friends united to bring the campus back to life by planting 100s of flowers, shrubs and saplings.

A partnership between APSU and the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce, this year's "Plant the Campus Red" is a part of the "Great American Clean-Up," chaired locally by Dottie Mann.

According to Brenda Harrison, who is coordinating "Plant the Campus Red," this year's volunteers will have a greater abundance of plants than in previous years.

"We have 15,000 flowers to plant this year and seven truckloads of mulch, so we're hoping for 400 volunteers," she said. "Besides students, faculty and staff, we encourage participation by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church and civic groups."

Volunteers can assist the Community Pride effort by cleaning up litter along Clarksville's highways or, as part of Peay Pride, they can plant flowers at APSU.

"Plant the Campus Red" promises to be a full day of fun for the whole family, according to Harrison, who tells everyone, "Bring your children, your spouse. It's a great way to teach children the importance of volunteer work and, as all parents know, children love to play in the dirt. With a little guidance, their 'play' can turn into planting."

After the planting concludes, participants are invited to a cookout at Raymond C. Hand Baseball Park behind the Dunn Center. Free burgers, dogs and all the fixins' will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and several door prizes will be given away.

The APSU cheerleaders and dance team will add to the excitement of the day by leading a pep rally, after which all volunteers are invited to be APSU's guests as the Govs baseball team takes on Morehead State University at 2 p.m.

Friends can sign up to work as a team during "Plant the Campus Red," or Harrison will place individual volunteers into teams. Teams will be assigned specific work areas throughout campus. Hand tools will be provided, but volunteers should bring work gloves.

Those who pre-register will receive a free t-shirt, while supplies last, and a picnic lunch. According to Harrison, anyone can show up for work without pre-registering.

No rain date is set, so work will proceed unless the weather becomes dangerous.

To register or for more information, telephone Harrison at 7024.