Fourth grade foresters celebrate Arbor Day

Though officially Arbor Day was technically celebrated the first week of April it doesn’t stop the notion that planting trees to benefit the environment and to help kids become more ecologically aware isn’t a good thing.

Mr. Jim Nelson’s Fourth Grade class from East Elementary school after receiving a shore pine from the Tillamook

By Brian Cameron

This year the Tillamook County Soil and Water Conservation District is donating 325 trees to area schools with the aim to have kids roll up their sleeves and plant a tree, officially becoming members of the Fourth Grade Foresters program.

The goal is to aid in revitalizing an idea – the observation of Arbor Day in America’s schools.

“We are helping these students become stewards of their community by showing them that they can make a difference by simply planting and caring for a tree,” Ray Monroe of the Tillamook County Soil and Water Conservation District, said.

Third, fourth and fifth graders from East Elementary, Garibaldi Elementary, Neskowin Valley, Nestucca Valley and Tillamook Adventist Schools will all receive individual trees from the Conservation District to be taken home and planted in a showing of stewardship and support for an ecological idea.

Rudy Fenk, Tillamook County Soil and Water Conservation District Board Chair, handing out Shore Pine Seedlings to the East Elementary School fourth grade class.

“This project is made possible because community businesspeople like the Tillamook County Soil and Water Conservation District covered the cost of each of the individually packaged evergreen trees so that there is no cost to students, teachers or the schools themselves,” Debra Ersch, Co-founder of the Fourth Grade Foresters project, said.

Fourth Grade Foresters USA was created to provide a simple and inexpensive way for any individual, business or organization to send the Fourth Grade students at an Elementary School home with a tree of their own to plant and care for.  Each fourth grader receives an individually packaged twelve to eighteen-inch evergreen tree seedling, which was packaged by workers with disabilities.

Planting a tree is even more important now than ever before, trees take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and clean the air we breathe.

“It’s a wonderful way to show support for the community, education and environment,” said Ersch.