Greentree School students from Miss Molly Moar’s Grade 5 class and Miss Megan Mason’s Grade 3 class presented Town of Drumheller council and administration on Tuesday, April 25 at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) with a request to consider planting some of the trees and vegetation slated for the Drumheller flood mitigation project 5:1 tree replanting program at the school.
Despite the school name, there are only trees bordering the school grounds, and the students are hopeful their plea will help ‘greenify’ the school and provide shady locations for students, which will promote more enjoyment and beautify the outdoor play area.
“I’m really proud of the work students have put into this, and their passion,” Miss Moar tells the Mail.
She shares the idea first came about around November 2022 and students have had ongoing discussions and lessons since, with the idea evolving over time. Not only did students learn about different varieties of trees, and which kinds would flourish around the school, they also spoke with landscape designers and learned about tree care and maintenance, and prepared for the public speaking portion.
“Standing in front of the officials (members of council and administration) really made it official and real,” Miss Moar says, adding students got to see the impact they can have on the school and their overall community.
The students are hoping the Town will provide about 30 trees throughout the school grounds; the first priority would see ornamental and poplar trees planted along the edge of the playground and bordering the edge of the school field nearest the school building, while second priority would see additional poplar trees planted along the perimeter of the field and ball diamond.
Based on estimates from landscape designers students had spoken with as part of their research, and conversations with the Town, it will cost approximately $1,000 per tree in total with soil, maintenance, and workers’ time.
Miss Moar says, now the presentation portion is complete, students are working on a “what’s next” and have developed an inquiry board in the classroom highlighting the 10 phases of the inquiry cycle, and next steps. They are also developing a protection plan to make sure the trees will be taken care of and survive for many years to come.
The students plan to invite an Indigenous Elder to give a blessing of the trees to help further create ownership and develop a sense of stewardship for the land for all Greentree students.