University Celebrates Planting by Launching "Growing Red Days"
by Rebecca Anzel
The Stony Brook University Division of Facilities & Services and Office of Sustainability kicked off its new planting program called "Growing Red Days" on June 25 at the Research & Development Park Greenhouse. The Growing Red Days is a program that focuses on the partnership between student, faculty and staff in order to come together to beautify the University. James O'Connor, Director of Sustainability & Transportation Operations said the program is "a celebration of the University's commitment to sustainability, improving our natural environment and beautifying our surroundings," where the campus community comes together to plant trees, saplings, flowers, bushes and perennials.
Red Growing Days are being held throughout the summer 2013 and will likely continue into fall, as depending on weather and the University's planting program. The first of the Red Growing Days, which occurred on June 25, attracted the interest of students who met at the Research & Development Park Greenhouse and were each given a planter, soil, shovel and flat of five different plant species to arrange how they liked. Andrea Petterson, the University's Landscape Manager, oversees each planting and actively encourages students not to be afraid "to get dirty."
As a result of the June 25th Growing Red Day, the community came together to plant and beautify the area located outside the Administration Building and Wang Center with new planters. "I was not sure what to expect with the first planting," Petterson said. "Not only did we produce some beautiful planters, but I had a great time with everyone who attended." The students enjoyed themselves as well. One student, senior political science major Sakib Ahmed, said "it was really fun being outside holding nature in my hands."
That sort of sentiment is what Petterson says makes her feel good about her involvement with this initiative. Petterson added "Watching the participants contribute to the environment, get dirty and enjoy the event makes us feel good. And thinking that we may have inspired them to go out and plant something in their yard or community makes it that much better."
On July 25, Petterson lead another group of students in beautifying a garden bed outside the north side of the Student Activities Center (SAC) with roughly 30 perennials. Specially chosen for their durability and aggressive nature, the two types of hemerocallis – Senior Joan and Pardon Me – planted will fill in the area next to the SAC and the daylilies planted will also provide striking color when in bloom with little care required. The remaining Growing Red Days for summer 2013 are as follows, with Stony Brook University students, faculty and staff members always welcome to join: July 29, August 5 and August 12.
For more information on this initiative or to participate in a Red Growing Day, please contact:
Stony Brook University
Office of Sustainability