Although officially recognized on Sunday, April 29, Arbor Day arrived a few days early at Boardman elementary schools where the seed was planted in more than 350 fourth-graders, who were officially named Fourth-Grade Foresters, of the importance of replanting trees.
On Friday, April 27, fourth-graders from Stadium Drive Elementary, Market Street Elementary, Robinwood Elementary, and West Boulevard Elementary School in Boardman were paid a visit by representatives of the Boardman Lions Club, who provided each of them with a tree to take home for planting.
In an effort to revitalize the observation of Arbor Day in America's schools, Terry Shears, president of the Boardman Lions, said, "The Lions Club is becoming a much greener organization, planting millions of trees worldwide this year alone. We are pleased to be able to help bring recognition of the importance of Arbor Day to Boardman's youth."
Photo by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
Once Stadium Drive Elementary School fourth-graders Alyssa Monday and Josh Olivito have the go-ahead from their parents, they’ll have everything they need to assist in the International Lions Club’s goal to plant a million trees this year.
According to information provided by Judy Jones of the Lions Club, "This project is made possible because community business people like the Boardman Lions Club covered the cost of the individually packaged evergreen trees so that there is no cost to the students, the teacher, the school, or the taxpayer," Debra Ersch, co-founder of the Fourth-Grade Foresters Project stated, adding, "It's a wonderful way to show support for the community, education, and the environment."
Created to provide a simple and inexpensive way to send fourth-grade students home with a tree of their own to plant and care for, through the Fourth-Grade Foresters program, each student received an individually packaged 12-inch to 18-inch evergreen tree seedling packaged by workers with disabilities.
Lions Club representatives Kathy Collins and Kris Dailey visited Stadium Drive Elementary School, where they shared with its 93 fourth-grade students the goal of the International Lions Club to plant a million trees in the year 2012.
Both Collins and Dailey have a history with Boardman Local Schools. Dailey retired from Boardman Middle School after 35 years teaching, while Collins served as guidance counselor at Stadium Drive for 18 years until her retirement.
Only a few months into the year, the Plant-A-Million Trees Initiative has currently exceeded its goal and has planted more than 2.5 million trees.
Following the whirlwind of tree-planting activity that will no doubt have taken place amongst the Boardman Local Schools Fourth Grade Foresters over the weekend during which they were encouraged to plant, the success of the program will have branched out even further still.