LES helps plant 10,000 trees before Earth Day
Loveland Elementary School (LES) third-grade students helped make Hamilton County a bit “greener” by taking home and planting Northern Red Oak seedlings just before Earth Day (Friday, April 22). The LES students are part of a larger county-wide initiative being offered to all third-grade students to plant 10,000 trees.
“In order for our third graders to participate, we needed about 360 seedlings!” said LES Teacher Cindy Rack. “The history behind this initiative is interesting, and it supports what third graders need to understand and learn about renewable natural resources, and how to be a good citizen in their community.” What a wonderful opportunity to join other students across the Cincinnati area to experience this first-hand.”
Rack said the initiative was spearheaded by Taking Root – a local organization – and the generosity of a private donor. According to Taking Root, Cincinnati is one of the “greenest” cities in the United States and that is in part due to the public school system. The history, according to Taking Root, is that in the mid 1800's Cincinnati was 95 percent deforested. In 1882, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, John Peaslee, closed the schools so the children could participate in the seventh annual Arbor Day celebration. They planted trees in an abandoned vineyard that we now know as Eden Park. Thirty years later those children, now the city's leadership, found the political will to plant 1 million trees on the west side of town in what is now Mt. Airy Forest. Today, Cincinnati is 39 percent canopy cover.
“Learning needs to be real and relevant in order to be effective,” said Rack. “Hopefully taking ownership for their own tree will spark a sense of stewardship for our regions valuable natural resources.”
Photo caption: This April, Mrs. Summer Mangano's third grade class took a walk on Loveland Elementary School's Granny Garden Nature Trail to observe items of decomposition and proof that spring has sprung!