Local Second Graders Are Preparing for Their Free Tree!

Each year the Gratiot Conservation District gives the second graders in Gratiot County a free tree seedling. This year the kids are taking their tree planting to a new level by learning about trees, the value and importance of them, and how to plant and care for their tree.

Last Friday the second graders in Mrs. Bontrager’s class at Ashley Elementary School became a living forest. They learned to thin their forest by holding out their ‘branches’ so that they were rooted far enough apart, then received stuffed animals and paper towel rolls and books and magazines to learn about the animals that live in the forest and the reasons why trees are cut down to make the goods we use everyday. They learned about invasive bugs and forest fires and lightning and wind storms that cause us to lose trees.

Ninety second graders in Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Jenkins, and Ms. Woodruff’s classes at Carrie Knause Elementary in St. Louis filled the atrium in the school’s library to become a very large living forest. There weren’t enough stuffed birds and bears and bugs to go around!

These exercises helped the kids to recognize the importance of planting more trees to replace the ones that are lost.

This helped them to understand that trees are a renewable resource and that

when they plant their little tree, they are helping to ensure that we will always have a thriving forest!

Altogether about 575 second graders in Gratiot County got to participate in the Living Forest lesson and almost 1,000 trees were donated to local kids!

-Julie Spencer
Gratiot Conservation District Administrator
301 E. Commerce Dr
Ithaca, MI 48847

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