Every fall, Aggies put on the country’s largest one-day environmental service project led by students.
Aggie Replant, a committee of the Student Government Association committee, will plant hundreds of trees in the Bryan-College Station area on Saturday. By doing so, Aggie Replant hopes to not only give back to the local community but to provide a means for students to engage in fulfilling and thoughtful community service.
Claire Unruh, renewable natural resources junior and director of Aggie Replant, said the project first began to combat the effects of another Aggie tradition.
“Replant was formed in 1991, and it was formed off Aggie Bonfire, just because they wanted to go back and replant some of the trees that were being cut down due to bonfire,” Unruh said.
During Replant Day, roughly 500 student volunteers will plant trees in and around Bryan-College Station. Unruh said it’s important that Aggie Replant seeks out all types of sites for tree planting, from homes to public property.
“We plant at houses and community parks, that sort of thing,” Unruh said. “This way, we make sure that we serve as many people as we can.”
Along with giving back to the community and providing a way for students to serve the area, Unruh said the organization also provides crucial leadership and networking skills for students.
“We take a certain number of student volunteers, train our replant members to lead these volunteers and allow them to delegate what the volunteers do,” Unruh said. “We’ll be planting a little over 700 trees this Saturday.”
Robert Cook, accounting junior and associate director of Aggie Replant, said the group aims to leave a lasting impact in the community.
“By planting trees and keeping our environment healthy and sustainable, we are able to do that,” Cook said. “It’s a way to give back and another way to give students the opportunity to not only serve, but to leave an impact.”
Although Replant Day can be fulfilling and rewarding, it is not without its challenges. Cook said the sheer number of trees that are planted can create financial challenges for the student organization.
“I would definitely say that the hardest part is the aspect of getting enough money and funds to plant as many trees as we can,” Cook said. “We are a student organization, so it’s pretty difficult to raise enough funds for how many trees we actually want to plant.”
Along with Replant Day, Aggie Replant hosts other similar projects throughout the year. These other projects can serve different parts of Texas outside the Bryan-College Station area. Cook said this allows Aggie Replant to show its love and respect for all areas of the state.
“In the past couple of springs, we have done Trees for The Blanco,” Cook said. “We partner with an organization called Tree Folks and go into the Blanco or San Marcos area. There we planted thousands of seedlings along that riverbed there to prevent future flooding of the area.”