University of Maryland students planted 300 native flower plants around the public health school Monday in celebration of Earth Day.

The event was part of Wild Visions Habitat Creation Challenge, a gardening challenge that aims to increase biodiversity renewal. Three student organizations — the Community Learning Garden, 17 for Peace and Justice and this university’s Audubon Student Chapter — collaborated with this university’s Arboretum and Botanical Gardens to create more sustainable natural habitats on campus.

The event was organized by the wildlife company Garden for Wildlife, which donated the plants for students to design a sustainable expansion to the Community Learning Garden and a new native flower garden in the public health school’s courtyard.

The student groups started planning for Monday’s event more than two months ago, Daniel Feliciano, Community Learning Garden’s vice president, said.

Earth Day’s alignment with the students’ plans to plant native flowers was fitting, according to Rosalie Bull, Garden for Wildlife’s student engagement lead.

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“What better way to celebrate the Earth than to actually put your hands in the dirt and take part in an action that is going to open up the UMD campus to the more than human world,” Bull said. “It’s going to make our city more habitable, more beautiful, more alive.”

Eleven other student groups from universities in the Washington, D.C., area will also participate in the Wild Visions challenge this week, according to a Garden for Wildlife news release. The challenge gives students a tangible way to fight a biodiversity crisis, Bull added.

About 70 students at this university assisted with the rejuvenation effort during work sessions this week as the volunteers weeded, planted flowers and watered the native flower species.

Feliciano, a senior environmental science and technology major, said planting the native flowers would help pollinate other crops as the garden grows.The space serves the community in many different ways, he added.

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“People come here on their own free time,” Feliciano said. “If you come together as a community, you can make a lot happen and achieve a lot.”

Feliciano highlighted that the Community Learning Garden donates all its produce to this university’s campus pantry, which gives the organization purpose. The group was able to further these initiatives by adding the native flowers, Feliciano said.

Evan Powers, the president of this university’s Audubon student chapter, said he was excited to partner with other environmentally conscious groups on campus for the event. Becoming involved in sustainability on campus is accessible to anyone, the junior ecology and evolution major, noted.

“It’s really as easy as just walking outside and admiring everything that already exists around you,” Powers said.

Students from the 17 for Peace and Justice organization also emphasized the importance of intertwining sustainability with social justice initiatives.

La’Myrah Jackson, the organization’s vice president, said partnering with other sustainability initiatives enables the organization to build support for its environmental justice principles. Jackson, a sophomore public policy major, added that bringing community members together at events such as Monday’s will “save the planet.”

“We live here and we are fortunate enough to live on an Earth that’s beautiful,” Jackson said. “At least take today to enjoy and appreciate the Earth.”