Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Honoring Mother Earth

Second graders plant tree in playground.

Olivia Lynch, a bright-eyed Dudley Elementary second grader, knows the importance of trees.

She is also reminded of their significance by a poem, printed in this story, written by Jane Yolen. The poem and Colorado blue spruce seedlings were given to her and fellow second graders.


“You should try not to cut down as many trees,” Lynch said on a cold, windy day last Thursday. “Because then you won’t have as much oxygen to breathe.


“You can’t live.”

Lynch and her fellow second graders gathered on the south playground to plant a miyabei state street maple tree in honor of Earth Day.

Jeff Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Landscape, donated his services to plant the tree, talked about how to plant trees and answered questions.

Each second grader brought a dollar to school to help pay for the tree.

The remainder of the cost was picked up by the Class of 1942 through the Gothenburg Public School Foundation.

In addition to planting the tree and picking up trash, second graders spent a week learning about recycling and other ways to care for Mother Earth.

Lynch’s classmate—Dennis Sabin—said it’s important not to remove trees because the Earth needs moisture.

Sabin said people need to plant trees for animals. And if ocean water becomes polluted, he said he learned that animals need to be cleaned so they don’t die.

Bryn Schlake said she learned that if you give trees too much water, they’ll die.

“I also learned about recycling to take care of the earth,” Schlake said.

Teacher Ann Foster said second graders usually spend a week talking about and doing learning activities related to caring for the environment but the tree planting is a new addition to the unit.

Foster said students learned about the three Rs: reduce, recycle and reuse.

They also incorporated math into their study by doing an experiment to see how much water is used when brushing one’s teeth with the faucet turned on.