Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Earth Day Tree Planting

Stewardship Assistant Chris planting a tree aided by local 6th-graders
One of the school districts in our catchment area has committed to bringing all students from 6th- through 9th-grades to my preserve each year for an environmental education outing.  On Earth Day this year (Monday, April 22), about 125 6th-graders (half of the 6th-graders in the district) descended en mass for the morning.  The students broke into four groups, and each group headed for a different activity station.  Throughout the morning, at 45 minute intervals, the students switched stations so that all students got a chance to rotate through all four activities: tree planting, invasive plant control, stream ecology, and pond water testing. 

Smaller trees require smaller holes - always a consideration with 6th-graders
The tree planting occurred near our office.  Last winter, the staff and volunteers spent many hours clearing invasive plants from a hopelessly weedy and vine-infested thicket in preparation for planting this spring with the students. 

Chris positioning a deer-proofing cage while a student readies a stake
The students love getting out of the classroom - especially in the spring when the weather starts to improve.  I'm sure the teachers like the change, too.

At any one time, there were a dozen students planting trees
The second half of the 6th-graders came to the preserve on Tuesday and repeated the activities of the previous day.  Between the two groups, my Stewardship Assistant Chris reported that the students, teachers, and chaperones had planted over 100 trees.


robin andrea said...

What a great education for those lucky 6th graders. That's a field trip with ongoing benefits: TREES!

Carolyn H said...

Scott: over 100 trees is a big deal! Nice-sized trees, too. What species did you plant?

packrat said...

Wow! What a fabulous activity for those 6th-graders to be involved in on Earth Day, Scott. I'm very impressed by the number who showed up. Encouraged, too, as I'm sure that some will have learned a valuable lesson about how important the environment is for the well-being of all species of plants and animals.