Wilkerson students plant their roots

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published April 22, 2015

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WARREN — With Arbor Day approaching April 24, students who attend Wilkerson Elementary School in Warren Consolidated Schools will again plant trees at home in an effort to support environmental awareness.

On April 15 and 16, students received an eastern white pine tree seedling to take home and plant. Fourth-grader Sophia Fantin, fifth-grader Frank Fantin and fourth-grader Cameron Carrier helped the students by placing the seedlings in a plastic bag with some mulch and water for each student to take.

A Wilkerson family that prefers to remain anonymous has donated starter trees for the students over the past three years.

“I’m helping the students open their bags so they can put in wood chips,” Sophia Fantin said. “I’m putting water in their bags. It’s to keep the trees alive until they plant it at home or give it to a relative or a neighbor.”

“I’m passing out trees to the kids so they can put the wood chips in,” Carrier said.

Students and their parents are encouraged to take pictures of the trees every year to track their growth. Third-graders Kaitlyn Graczyk, Kali O’Connell and Renee Marsack looked forward to planting their saplings and watching them sprout.

“We do it every year,” Marsack said. “They’re just like flowers. You just water them.”

“And let them have sunshine,” Graczyk added. “It’s fun and it’s a good way to learn how trees grow.”

“I planted two so far and this is my third,” O’Connell said. “I water them every spring, like in the morning.”

According to a school brochure on Arbor Day, the annual holiday is designed to encourage others to plant and care for trees. Founded by J. Sterling Morton, Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1872.

The pamphlet also stated that the eastern white pine can reach 150 feet in height and grow up to 40 inches in diameter.

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