Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Earth Day Tree Planting

Stewardship Assistant Chris Dartley planting a tree aided by Upper Moreland 6th-graders
The Upper Moreland School District has committed to bringing all students from 6th- through 9th-grades to the Pennypack Preserve each year for an environmental education field day.  On Earth Day this year (Monday, April 22), about 125 6th-graders (half of the 6th-graderes in the district) arrived for a morning full of environmental activities.  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 searching for salamanders

Smaller trees need 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, Stewardship Assistant Chris Dartley reported that the students, teachers, and chaperones had planted over 100 trees.

Submitted by David Robertson
Executive Director

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