Golden Apple: Clearbrook-Gonvick Students Plant Trees For Minnesota’s Arbor Month
Clearbrook-Gonvick School has a 360-acre school forest in their neck of the woods. Agriculture Education Teacher Kim Anderson says it’s the largest school forest in the state.
‘There aren’t very many trees in this specific property,” said Anderson. “So we decided that it would be an opportunity that we could plant some trees and build a shelter belt,”
Fourth, fifth and sixth graders planted the trees with the assistance of upperclassmen and foresters. The state provided the seedlings for the school’s forest for Minnesota’s Arbor Month and to teach students about how trees grow.
“Trees are always a good thing in the community,” said Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Forester Chris Gronewold. “An area like this where there’s a lot of open land it sure is nice to have trees, helps educate the children about having trees and the things trees are good for.”
Upperclassmen like Brandon Quern helped the younger students plant trees, which included digging a hole and properly putting the tree into the ground.
“I think they learn that the tree planting is important for the soil around here,” said Quern. “Our soil isn’t the best up at the school grounds, and trees should help put some of the nutrients back into it.”
Students worked quickly. Within 30 minutes 100 spruce trees and 100 white cedar trees were planted.
“This is their land. This is where they’re going to end up,” said Anderson. “This is where they’re going to raise their kids, so to take care of that is a really important part of living.”
For the students that eventually want to work in natural resources, the school forest program gives them that connection.
“[It] gives students a good idea of what they can do, not only at their own homes, but also in the community,” said Clearbrook-Gonvick School Principal Jeff Burgess. “You know, planting trees is a great activity for them, so to show them how to do that is a lifelong skill that they’ll always know.”
The Clearwater Soil & Water Conservation District is also giving a variety of trees to every elementary student in the district. Now, these young foresters can plant a tree of their own.