Students, Families, and Staff Team Up With UCSB Students and a Local Non-Profit to Plant Trees at Two Santa Barbara Unified Schools
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The local volunteer urban forestry nonprofit Your Children’s Trees helped organize the plantings at Goleta Valley (GVJHS) and La Colina Junior High Schools with the assistance of District Maintenance staff, principals, staff, and families.
Science Teacher Ian Moore has been leading students in the planting and ongoing care of trees at GVJHS, while staff member Maureen Granger is leading similar efforts at La Colina Junior High.
The GVJHS planting on February 4th was the latest in a series of plantings that have happened at the school since 1998, according to Your Children’s Trees President Ken Knight.
The latest plantings started with an inventory of all the trees at GVJHS last year, which resulted in selecting prime sites for 15 new shade trees last April and planting five trees In February.
Native varieties, including Coast Live Oak, Sycamore, Cottonwood, and Alder, were planted. In addition, climate-appropriate trees such as Ginkgo, Island Oak, and Redbud were added to the campuses.
A week later, on February 11th, volunteers were back at work on the La Colina campus, planting 11 more trees after similar inventories and tree site selection coordinated with District and school staff.
Varieties such as elderberry, purple orchid, African fern pine, and white alder will provide shade and color, as well as improve soil health on the La Colina campus for generations to come.
These projects were supported through a grant from California Releaf and their fiscal
sponsor Southern California Edison.
In addition to the tree planting and ongoing care efforts, this year, Your Children’s Trees has produced self-guiding tree walks for the GVJHS and La Colina campuses showcasing their diversity of tree species on the campuses.
“We responded to school requests for assistance in adding to their tree canopy,” said Knight. “We help the schools analyze their educational and environmental tree opportunities and then find resources to make that happen.”
The tree walks are tied to a tree walk guide for educators available in the educational outreach section of Your Children’s Trees website.
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