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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Taking root: Youngsters gain tree-planting knowledge during Arbor Day

  • Students from Eugene Field, St. John’s Lutheran and Holy Family schools converged on Hannibal’s Common Ground Community Garden Friday afternoon to watch as members of the city’s Tree Board planted a dogwood tree.
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  • Students from Eugene Field, St. John’s Lutheran and Holy Family schools converged on Hannibal’s Common Ground Community Garden Friday afternoon to watch as members of the city’s Tree Board planted a dogwood tree.
    If the object of the event was to make planting a tree look like an enjoyable experience, it was a success.
    “It’s cool,” said Kaleb Rickey, a third grader from St. John’s Lutheran. “It looks like fun and helps the earth.”
    Holy Family fourth grader Kolin Westhoff, who was watching a tree being planted for the first time, gained valuable information about the process.
    “You don’t just put it in the ground, you have to measure it and water it, and make sure you keep it alive,” he said. “You also have to make sure that you have fun doing it. It should be fun.”
    Kyle Monroe of the Missouri Department of Conservation and an advisor to the Tree Board enjoyed watching the students.
    “It looks like they’re all smiling and having fun getting their hands dirty and learning at the same time,” he said. “I just hope they see the value of trees in their community and they see the benefits they receive from those trees. Hopefully they’ll take their knowledge home and encourage their parents to plant a tree in their yard.”
    Ed Tamerius, a member of the Tree Board, had two goals in mind Friday – explain what Arbor Day is about and the importance of planting a tree correctly.
    “If they can learn to plant a tree then maybe they’ll do it on their own as they get older,” he said.
    Michelle Huseman, a science teacher at Eugene Field, was glad the youngsters had the opportunity to learn from Tamerius.
    “To get out and hear Mr. Tamerius, who is such an expert in this, to hear the language he uses about what trees provide us… We’ve studied that through our science lessons, but this really brings it home,” she said.
    Janet Begley, third and fourth grade teacher at St. John’s Lutheran, felt Friday’s Arbor Day event was a positive experience for her students.
    “I think the kids are very interested in taking care of nature, and this is the right age for that. They look forward to the spring. We’ve talked about all the signs of spring they have seen and they’re very excited about anything they can do to help the earth. They really want to get their hands dirty. They want to show their appreciation for everything that God has done for them,” she said.
    Page 2 of 2 - JoAnne Conoyer, fourth grade teacher at Holy Family, felt the lessons learned Friday will pay off in the future.
    “We received trees earlier in the year from the Conservation Department and some of them went home and planted them. They said they stuck it in the ground because they didn’t know what to do. Hopefully after today they will get a better understanding of how to plant a tree so if they do plant a tree another time they’ll know how to do it,” she said.
    Mary Lynne Richards of the Parks Department was delighted that students from three schools were in attendance.
    “This is so nice because the community garden is within walking distance of several schools,” she said. “I hope they see the community garden and go home and tell their parents about it and they say, ‘Let’s do some volunteer work at the community garden.’”
    Jessie Dryden, Common Ground Community Garden project developer, was thankful to see the dogwood being planted at the garden.
    “This is all about reclaiming an old lot that has been used for many different things over the years. To give back to nature and to the community in such a beautiful way is the right thing to do. It’s kind of an incredible thing to watch,” she said.
     
     
     

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