Oaklandon Elementary Gets a Lot of Tree-ts for its Forest
On May 10, the students, faculty, and administrators could finally see the forest through the trees on its premises at Oaklandon Elementary School of Environmental Studies. On this day, a school-wide day of activities and tree planting occurred. What started out as ten acres of open field has suddenly taken on a whole new look of a young forest.
“This is our third year as a magnet program, and in that time we have made remarkable progress due to grant money and partnerships within the community,” says Laura Getz, Environmental Science teacher at Oaklandon Elementary School.
“Twice, we have received $10,000 grants from the Dr. Laura Hare Charitable Trust for Ecological Restoration. In addition, federal money has supported our curriculum and property development.”
So far, the school has been able to enhance its property by adding a native prairie, large pond, rain garden, community-raised garden beds, huge greenhouse, courtyard chicken and duck habitat, and a natural playscape.
This year, the NeighborWoods Program of Keeping Indiana Beautiful, Inc., and Roche Diagnostics has partnered with Oaklandon Elementary to plant close to 200 Indiana native trees. Also, another corporate sponsor, Waste Management, has demonstrated to kids the proper techniques for recycling and has agreed to provide receptacles throughout the school.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much trees benefit us,” says Getz, who was instrumental as the grant writer in getting the funding for the progressive changes at Oaklandon Elementary. “Clearly, our school is an exciting place and worth noting. We are thrilled to provide children with these experiences. Our tree planting day here at our school displays how we’re changing a small part of the earth.”