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Austin Peay State University to hold plant sale from campus’ native meadow this spring

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – For years, the area behind Ellington Hall was considered one of the least attractive spots on the Austin Peay State University (APSU) campus. The land, surrounded by sidewalks and abutting loading zones and parking lots, sloped downward into a wide, unsightly bowl that flooded during heavy rains.

The campus of Austin Peay State University. (APSU)
The campus of Austin Peay State University. (APSU)

Then in 2019, Wes Powell, APSU assistant director of landscape and ground, decided the area was in desperate need of a face-lift.

Using a grant from the University’s Sustainable Campus Fee Committee, he set to work converting the ragged, flood-prone bowl into a native meadow.

“Basically, my premise behind the meadow was to take an unsightly, unused area and make it attractive and usable and functional,” he said. “On top of that, I wanted to use native plants that don’t require any maintenance and don’t need fertilizer, don’t need irrigation. And it’s designed to showcase how they can be used as a landscape plant.”

Today, the hidden meadow offers a serene spot where visitors can sit on benches and enjoy the beauty of this region’s native plants. And this April, Powell plans to let people take home a piece of campus with an inaugural Native Plant Sale.

“This year, I dug up seedlings and collected seeds,” he said. “I have nearly 1,000 plants that should be ready in mid-April for a plant sale. In a normal year, sales would go toward maintenance of the grounds. This year, because of the pandemic, it’ll go anywhere the university needs it.”

In addition to the meadow’s native plants, Powell said they’ll also sell seeds from the campus’ iconic trees.

“Some of what we’ll sell are from the larger trees in front of campus that have been on campus for 150 years,” he said. “You can take home a baby one and bury it in your yard – have a little legacy of campus.”

The University has set up a Marketplace account so individuals can purchase plants in advance. To purchase a plant, visit https://epay.apsu.edu/C20023_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=53&SINGLESTORE=true.

Plants can be picked up in parking lot 5 on either April 30th, from 9:00a.m to 4:00pm, or May 1st, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. More information about the plant sale will be available later this spring.

For information on the native meadow, visit https://www.apsu.edu/sustainability/native-meadow.php.


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