On November 3, a group of WashU students and staff joined representatives from Bon Appetit, Top Care, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, and Sleeve A Message for the third annual tree planting event on the Danforth Campus. Participants planted, watered, and mulched 59 trees. The species included Paw Paw, Eastern Wahoo, Vernal Witchhazel, and Post Oak, all of which are native to Missouri. The trees were provided by Forest ReLeaf of Missouri’s CommuniTree Gardens program and Forrest Keeling Nursery.
The tree planting took place along one of WashU’s largest sustainable landscaping projects to date. The project spans across Forsyth Boulevard, between Wallace Drive and Tolman Way. The project team has removed turf grass, which costs more to maintain and requires approximately 50% more water. The new plants and trees are largely native or adaptive species and have an increased root depth, which will lead to greater rain infiltration. They will also significantly increase carbon sequestration and create habitat for a greater number of bird and pollinator species.
The Forsyth Landscape Project was designed by SWT Design and will wrap up this fall with the addition of fourteen trees. Kent Theiling, Grounds Manager and Horticulturist for the Danforth Campus, summed that, “I am looking forward to next spring and summer as perennials and shrubs will have been planted for a year, will be established, and should provide a great show with different plants flowering at different times of the growing season.”