Thursday, June 17, 2010

Garland's Answer To "Tree The Town"

Richardson might have its "Tree the Town" initiative to plant 50,000 trees in Richardson over the next ten years. Now, Garland ISD is thinking of going one step farther -- growing its own trees. School board member Larry Glick's idea is to to give students training in horticulture and, as a byproduct, provide shade on school playgrounds as well. Garland ISD would start a tree farm, run by students who would both grow the trees and transplant them to playgrounds. Win-win.

After the jump, a look back at an Richardson effort to shade those playgrounds.

Years ago, Ellen got her start in PTA by chairing the Environmental Committee of the Dartmouth Elementary PTA. Before Richardson had its own residential recycling collection service, she started an aluminum recycling program at the school. Once a month, as parents dropped off their kids at school, students would collect cans curbside then take the haul to a recycling center. From the proceeds, the school could afford to add much-needed playground equipment. Ellen had students test and select the slides, swings and ladders to be included. Ellen was less successful with her third effort, providing shade for that playground. But then, Ellen wasn't a graduate of a professional horticulture program that runs its own tree farm. She managed to get a half dozen trees planted on the playground, but maintenance proved too big a challenge. Warning to others: carrying water in buckets in red wagons, even with an army of kindergarten helpers, probably isn't enough for newly planted trees to survive a Texas summer.

It's been said that education is a way of planting a seed to grow a future. Garland school board member Larry Glick's idea may make that saying literally true. Future generations of schoolchildren will thank him every day at recess.

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