By Susan Young, Tewksbury Garden Club Arbor Day and Community Education Chairperson
The Tewksbury Garden Club continued a long-standing Arbor Day tradition when balsam fir saplings were delivered to the students in the third-grade classes at the North Street and Louise Davy Trahan Schools.
The involvement of school children in the program of planting trees started 150 years ago in Nebraska and has continued with the support of Garden Clubs and other organizations around the country. Fifty years ago, The Arbor Day Foundation (arborday.org) was founded to provide further education about the importance of maintaining and expanding the number of trees in each community here in the US and around the world.
The Tewksbury Garden Club has been a proud supporter of Arbor Day for many of its 52-year existence. We believe it started with the planting of a tree at the old Foster School, and it has progressed to a program involving the art teachers and third grade teachers in each school, who work with third-grade students to develop their own posters on a unique theme each year.
The theme for 2022 is “How Do Tewksbury Trees Support Our Community.” The posters were inventive and creative and are part of a selection process for award ribbons in each classroom. The student recipient of the first-place ribbon is also awarded a book with a name plate that indicates the student donates the book back to the school library to allow all students the opportunity to read and learn.
This year, each school received seven books related to trees or nature.
The Tewksbury Garden Club is proud to continue this important Arbor Day tradition. Tewksbury has many trees that are native to the area and important to the ecoculture because they provide habitat and food sources for native insects, birds and mammals. Additionally, trees are soil stabilizers and provide wind breaks, and they process carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
The 2022 Arbor Day program for Tewksbury students was made possible by the generous support of a grant from the Tewksbury Cultural Council, a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Above photo l-r at Louis Davy Trahan School: Gail Errera and Susan Young, TGC members, with Jaime Lane, third-grade teacher
Below l-r at North Street School: Purnima Demorais, principal; Gail Errera, Susan Young and Susan Appleby, TGC members; Mary Groux, third-grade teacher