Image of leaves and tree around Minskoff Pavilion

2020 Spartan Arbor Day 5K

The Spartan Arbor Day 5K was designed to highlight MSU's green spaces and to raise funds for planting trees across the vast 5,400+ acre East Lansing campus.


UPDATE 3/16/20: Due to recently released CDC guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are postponing the Spartan Arbor Day 5K. Registrants will be contacted via email regarding registration fee refunds.

Michigan State University has been honored with Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation three times (2017, 2018 and 2019) for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

MSU achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project.

The Spartan Arbor Day 5K will bring attention to campus green spaces and will highlight the support needed to meet MSU's tree planting goals.


MSU's green space is part of who we are as Spartans. The vast tree canopy surrounding campus is not something we take for granted, and every day we put in the work to ensure our tomorrow is a little greener for future Spartans. We look forward to welcoming people to campus to share our love of MSU's green spaces, and to highlight how we help Spartans change the world.
Dan Bollman, Vice President of Strategic Infrastructure Planning and Facilities

Landscape Services crew planting tree during Arbor Day 2019


The Spartan Arbor Day 5K was designed to highlight MSU's green spaces and to raise funds for planting trees across the vast 5,400+ acre East Lansing campus. Participants will run or walk through a predefined route through north campus, starting at Conrad Hall. The event will also include a tree planting on campus by IPF Landscape Services.

The university's green spaces are not taken for granted. But even with proper maintenance and planning, an average of 300 trees are removed or displaced each year due to construction projects and numerous environmental incidents. To keep MSU's commitment to a continued green future for Spartans to enjoy, MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, and MSU Sustainability are accepting donations for a campus tree fund that seeks to raise money for tree planting, growth and maintenance.

Can't participate in person on race day? A virtual run is possible, allowing participants to support of the tree fund from anywhere in the world.

Spartan Arbor Day 5K Details


All registration fees can be paid online through the event's Eventbrite registration page.

In-person registration: $35. Included in registration:

  • Participation in the 5K run
  • A Spartan Arbor Day 5K t-shirt
  • Wooden participation medal
  • First 100 finishers will receive a special gift

Virtual registration: $35. Included in registration:

  • Virtual participation in the 5K run
  • A Spartan Arbor Day 5K t-shirt*
  • Wooden participation medal

*Virtual participants will receive their Spartan Arbor Day 5K t-shirt in the mail, free-of-charge.


Conrad Hall 943 Conrad Rd East Lansing, MI 48824


The route will guide participants through north campus, beginning at Conrad Hall. Participants will run alongside the red cedar river, crossing it twice before returning to the start location where a finish line will be waiting. Markers will indicate distance completed throughout the route.

Spartan Arbor Day 5K race route

Race Day

The event begins at 9:00am on Saturday, April 25. Registration begins at 8:00am.

Free parking is available at the Wharton Center parking ramp west of Conrad Hall.

At registration, participants will receive a packet with a t-shirt included. No numbers will be distributed due to the run not being timed.

Participants are able to walk, run or trot. Accommodations will be made upon participant request.

Bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc. will not be allowed.

Upon completion of the run, the first 100 participants will receive a small tree as a gift.

All participants can join the conversation with #SpartanArborDay5K


All race participants, in-person and virtual, will receive a Spartan Arbor Day 5K t-shirt with their registration.

Mockup of Spartan Arbor Day 5K t-shirt


Jerry Wahl
Campus Arborist
(517) 648-9878