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Second Graders Help Ferndale’s Arbor Day Forest Grow

Second Graders Help Ferndale’s Arbor Day Forest GrowNew Harvest Homes NHH

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 4, 2014)

“Why are trees so important?”

It’s the simple question that sparked the interest and imagination of the second graders of Ms. Bruner and essentialMs.Hayden’s classes from Roosevelt School at the 12th annual Tree City USA Arbor Day Tree Planting at Ferndale’s Oppenheimer Park on June 4.

Suzanne Rowe, Chair of the Beautification Commission, encouraged the youth as they shared their ideas.

“They give clean air,” one said.

“They make homes for animals,” said another.

“They give us shade,” another chimed in.HowesLocation

Arbor Day is a chance for the education and appreciation of all the ways trees are important to the planet. Though Arbor Day is officially the last Friday in April, cities who participate in the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA Program can plant a tree at whatever time makes sense for them depending on their environment. Ferndale is one of 34,000 cities with a Tree City USA designation. There are only 120 cities in seed020_heather_coleman_vossMichigan, including Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Rochester Hills and Detroit.

Rowe explained the history of Arbor Day, which started in 1872 in Nebraska to help encourage the planting of trees to replace those being cut down for wood and paper.

Mayor Pro Tem Dan Martin then encouraged the youngsters to be good stewards of the environment. “You can plant a tree every year for Arbor Day,” he said. “And take care of all the trees around you. You guys are responsible to protect this planet.”Jim Shaffer KELLER ad black

The kids then got to dig in and help the Department of Public Works plant a young tulip tree. Taking turns with tiny shovels, each child did their part to make sure the tree got a solid welcome into its new home.

DPW tree expert Chris Duda made sure to explain tree planting basics as they sidebar01reader_supportworked, telling the kids to “make sure the hole is deep enough but not so deep that it suffocates the trunk,” and to “make the hole bigger than you need to give the roots enough room to grow, to reach out and get nutrients.”

Each kid also went home with a cookie from the Beautification Commission and an evergreen sapling of their own to plant.seed04_galloway

For stories from previous years, and other tree-related resources, see:


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