YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mill Creek’s Collier Preserve is about to get a little greener.

About two dozen Youngstown State University students got their hands dirty planting saplings there Thursday afternoon.

It’s part of YSU’s Legacy Forests program. For three years, students and volunteers have planted a tree for every incoming freshman at the university.

On Thursday, they planted 1,650.

The goal is to reduce greenhouse gases in the Valley.

“Put the roots in the ground and look forward to the future. We talk so much about, ‘What can we contribute to society?’ And this is a way we can contribute,” said Colleen McLean, an environmental science professor at YSU.

The program has planted over 2,000 trees around the Valley to date. The trees will provide a habitat for wildlife for hundreds of years.