Magazine article Sunset

New Ardor for Arbor Day

Magazine article Sunset

New Ardor for Arbor Day

Article excerpt

Second graders in Livermore, California, try their hands at suburban foresting

AT A TIME WHEN native stands of trees are shrinking because of logging and urban encroachment, the simple act of planting a seedling has taken on new meaning. So, too, it seems, has the observance of Arbor Day.

For the past two years, Livermore, California, has combined a planting celebration with an Arbor Day program designed to instill respect for trees in the people who will be around the longest to enjoy them: children in elementary schools.

AT AGE 6 OR 7, THEY EACH ADOPT A TREE

Livermore's celebration, organized by a local beautification committee, made trees a part of Livermore's second-grade curriculum--and each second grader's life. Last year, the Davey Tree Surgery Co. and Livermore Rotary Club donated a total of 1,400 seedlings of Chinese elm, crape myrtle, and redwood. Each child became the parent of a single tree, planting it near his or her home and taking responsibility for its care.

Of course, the kids weren't the only ones involved: they could not adopt until an adult signed a "contract" with the school promising to help take good care of the tree. …

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