To help kick off their school’s Green Day celebration, Palmer Elementary School students, staff and PTO welcomed business and community members to a ribbon-cutting ceremony in November. The school acquired 30 trees from Trees for Houston, which were planted throughout the school grounds to replace those that were lost during the recent drought.
Marco Luzuriaga of Fluor initiated the project and rallied volunteers from his company and the school’s PTO to help students plant the trees, with students from each grade level marking their classroom tree with a decorative marker. In class, students also learned various facts about trees to share with guests at the ceremony.
“We wanted this to be an educational project that students could enjoy,” said Luzuriaga. “We began planning in the summer and were able to see the project come to life with the help of Fluor volunteers, Trees for Houston, and the Palmer PTO.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was the culmination of months of planning and preparation. “This is the most ideal situation to have trees planted on the school grounds for students to take care of and watch grow over the years,” said Brooke Judice, Trees for Houston Education Coordinator. “We made sure that students were involved in the planning process, since they will be the official caretakers of the trees here at Palmer.”
Students have been learning about trees throughout the school year and have pledged to take care of the trees. Their motto is: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (The Lorax).
“The donation of the trees is a symbol of community pride for us,” said Ashley Russell, first-grade teacher at Palmer. “Over the next few years, we will see the trees grow and blossom as they add beauty to our school.”
Palmer Elementary School principal, Jaimie Geis, thanked participants, including the Lake Olympia Middle School Band, for taking part in the ceremony. She also presented Clair Taylor, district aide and the school’s “resident green expert,” with a token of appreciation for her significant role in the school’s Green Day project.