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home : education : schools July 26, 2016

4/30/2013 1:18:00 PM
Sisters celebrates Arbor Day
Public works employees supervised kids in planting trees for Arbor by Jim Cornelius
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Public works employees supervised kids in planting trees for Arbor by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Each year in April, Sisters' status as a Tree City USA gets a boost from students at Sisters Elementary School.

Planting trees in public spaces has become an Arbor Day Sisters tradition. This year, students planted aspen trees around the swale next to the stallion statue along Cascade Avenue and at Cliff Clemens Park on Larch Street.

The trees were donated by C&C Nursery and Bruce Rognlien and delivered to the site by Gary Frazee. City public works employees sited the trees, taking care that they will not obscure business signage, and prepped the ground for the students.

Third- and fourth-grade classes showed up at noon on Thursday, ready to dig in the dirt. But first they shared poems that they had created in class - poems celebrating their love for trees.

Oregon Department of Forestry urban forestry specialist Katie Lompa got the kids warmed up with some stretching to resemble tree branches reaching for the sunlight, and a quick tutorial on planting technique.

"You see the buds starting to open up, so we'll have some leaves in a little bit," she noted.

The day could not have been more suitable for spring planting - warm and velvety, with plenty of golden sunshine.

"I just can't get over this day," said city councilor Catherine Childress. "So beautiful. What a day."

City Council President McKibben Womack read a formal Arbor Day proclamation and led the students in voting for the Tree of the Year. Three students had nominated favorite trees, and the winning tree by acclamation was a juniper outside the window of Sarah Kissinger.

Then the fun began. Students grabbed shovels and watering cans and, under the supervision of public works staff, they got down to the business of filling in tree wells and giving the trees a good drink of water.

Arbor Day dates back to 1872, when agriculture advocate J. Sterling Morton first proposed setting aside a day for tree planting.

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