split image of crowd and gwr adjudicator michael empric at the nyc plaza

Watering hundreds of plants is challenging but watering them all at once is even more so.  

A group of people in New York City pulled their efforts together to give a whole new meaning to “companion planting.”  

In celebration of Earth Day, the Today show hosted an event to engage and excite communities throughout the country. 

During a segment this morning, 799 participants from 12 U.S. schools and organizations each watered one plant for 20 seconds across different venues, earning a record title for the most people watering plants simultaneously (multiple venues)

The event was hosted at The Plaza in NYC, but West Coast participants woke up before sunrise to join in on the fun remotely. 

Those who participated in the event included:  

  • Pace University 
  • City of Austin 
  • Greening of Detroit 
  • Virginia Tech’s Prism Club 
  • Western Reserve Land Conservancy 
  • One Tree Planted 
  • Earth X 
  • Hampton Virginia Community Gardens 
  • Arbor Day Foundation 
  • Penn State’s CED Club 
  • Union Catholic High School 
  • American Community Gardening Association 

The initiative aimed to encourage the public to adopt habits to care for the earth.  

Social media star, Terrill Haigler, was present during the televised attempt.  

After realizing his community’s desperate need for sanitation services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Haigler worked at the frontlines in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, picking up truckloads of trash. 

His efforts earned him the nickname “Ya Fav Trashman” and catapulted him into internet fame. 

Now, Haigler has made it his mission to inspire others to take care of the earth, even offering suggestions to help save the planet right from home.  

“First, always recycle. We want to reduce how much waste we send to the landfills,” Haigler told the Today show.  

“Reusing our glass bottles, breaking down all those Amazon boxes that we’ve been ordering all pandemic long, and making sure they’re going somewhere else other than the landfill.”  

“Ya Fav Trashman” also encourages the community to properly dispose of trash.  

“If you don’t tie the bag and the wind blows, now the whole block is filled with trash and kids can’t ride their bikes,” he said.  

Haigler’s last suggestion was to focus on creating greener spaces.  

“Create green oases in urban communities so that people feel good when they see all the trees and flowers planted and enjoy life.”  

Haigler added that he feels blessed to have had the opportunity over the past two years to advocate for sanitation workers and educate his community on the importance of caring for our planet.  

The plants watered during the attempt varied in size and color, decorating the Big Apple with fresh greenery.  

With their watering cans in hand, the crowd cheered as the countdown began, and hundreds of plants were hydrated in unison throughout the country.  


“The mark to beat was 250. We had 62 people on the plaza here, and we had some huge groups,” said Guinness World Records adjudicator Michael Empric. 

“The final count was 799. That’s a new record,” he continued. 

This morning’s attempt marks one more added to the list of record attempts that have taken place at the Today show, including; most wet t-shirts put on in one minute, the most pull-ups in 24 hours, and the longest cartoon strip (team)

Although today was the first time the new record was attempted, Guinness World Records has seen its fair share of eco-friendly record titles, including:  

  • Most plant species planted simultaneously in multiple locations - The most plant species planted simultaneously in multiple locations is 240 and was achieved by Dept. of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (both India) at 8 locations in Uttar Pradesh, India, on 28 July 2020 
  • Most nationalities planting trees simultaneously - The most nationalities of people planting trees simultaneously is 66 and was achieved by The Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads & Public Places, in Doha, Qatar on 9 October 2021. 
  • Largest tree hug - The largest tree hug consists of 4,620 people, achieved by Asianet News Network Pvt. Ltd. (India) at JNTBGRI, in Thiruvananthapuram, India, on 21 March 2017.