Roseville High School ninth graders Nino Pepito, Brennan Messner and Stephen Breger learn how to plant a tree from certified arborist and city of Roseville employee Brian Grass.

Roseville High School ninth graders Nino Pepito, Brennan Messner and Stephen Breger learn how to plant a tree from certified arborist and city of Roseville employee Brian Grass.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Roseville students, city employees plant trees for Arbor Day, Earth Day

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 7, 2021

 Roseville High School seniors Gehad Badawy, Madelyn Tribu and Olivia Rosol, all members of the school’s Outreach Committee, assist the city of Roseville with tree planting in honor of Arbor Day April 30.

Roseville High School seniors Gehad Badawy, Madelyn Tribu and Olivia Rosol, all members of the school’s Outreach Committee, assist the city of Roseville with tree planting in honor of Arbor Day April 30.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ROSEVILLE — Several Roseville High School students teamed up with Department of Public Works employees to commemorate Arbor Day and Earth Day by planting trees in the community April 30.

It was the sixth year in a row that students from Roseville Community Schools worked together with city officials to improve the community in celebration of the two holidays.

“It was Arbor Day, and Roseville is one of the cities that was picked to plant trees. Today we have students from Roseville High School, and we have our DPW workers and we have our City Council here to celebrate Arbor Day with the planting of trees and trying to make Roseville beautiful for everyone,” said Mayor Robert Taylor. “This is our sixth year in a row that we’ve done something like this, and it’s an important day for Roseville and an important day for the growing of the future of this city.”

Earth Day 2021 took place April 22. Arbor Day took place April 30. Six trees were planted, a part of 20 total that Roseville will be planting in 2021 thanks to a grant from Green Macomb.

“This year, I was able to get 20 trees from a grant, and we are putting them in commercial areas. They are going in between 13 Mile (Road) and 12 Mile (Road) along Little Mack (Avenue). Next year, I am hoping to get 60-80 trees from grants and put them in residential areas also in this area near Little Mack,” said Department of Public Works Director Jeff Schmidt. “I apply every year, and we receive trees pretty much every year now. Last year, there were only 20 trees left, which is why we are putting in 20 this year. It provided $150 per tree. That covers most of the costs, since the trees tend to cost about $169 each.”

Gehad Badawy is the head of the Roseville High School Student Assembly and a member of the school’s Outreach Committee, which was the group that took part in the tree planting. She said she was happy to be able to go out into the community to do some good and make improvements.

“On the Outreach Committee, we reach out to help out with various things. We help with charities and the environment and groups all around Roseville,” Badawy said. “I’m really excited because Earth Day was just a week ago, so I want to give back to the community, and I think this is a good way to give back.”

Kayla Brewer, an English teacher at Roseville High School and staff adviser for the Outreach Committee, said this is exactly the sort of project the school likes to have students get involved with.

“This is the Outreach Committee, so we love to volunteer. In particular, we wanted to find some way to help the planet, so this is the perfect opportunity to come out for Arbor Day and plant some trees,” said Brewer. “The Outreach Committee goes out into the community and volunteers on various helpful projects. The kids are super excited to help improve the quality of the air and beautify the community. We hope this will encourage people to recycle, reduce, reuse and make the world a better place.”

Schmidt and Taylor both said it was good for the students to see how a city goes about implementing projects like this one.

“We had to pick trees that are salt-resistant, we had to pick areas where trees wouldn’t interfere with (utility) wires or block driving sightlines,” Schmidt said. “I think it’s good the kids get to see a little bit of how our department works and what cities have to take into consideration. It’s encouraging that they want to get involved and help out with a project like this.”

“It’s something that doesn’t just beautify the city of Roseville — it gets our students out into the public and lets them meet some of our local officials, and they see how important our DPW workers are for the community and see they do more than putting patch work on a road or plowing snow,” added Taylor.

Schmidt said he hopes to continue to get grants from Green Macomb so the city and school district can keep doing this year after year.

“We want to soften the community and improve the environment. It’s obviously more aesthetically pleasing to drive down the street and see trees rather than flat land,” he said. “I try to get a school involved every year to teach the importance of maintaining the environment and improving the environment. This year, the high school actually reached out to me, so I accommodated them. With the construction that finished last year on Little Mack, I thought this would be a perfect place to plant trees and soften it up and get some more tree canopy out here.”

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