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Thursday April 29, 2010 at 6:55am Age: 8 yrs
Category: Middle School

Mr. Hoffman’s Living Environment Class


Students participated in the Saratoga Tree Nursery School Seedling program.  DEC encourages planting on school property so that students can be responsible for the care and protection of the seedlings. Students planted a mix of 30 wildlife shrubs (Toringo Crabapple/Highbush Cranberry) and 40 American Mt. Ash trees.

Planting and caring for a seedling tree can help students learn about the natural world and the value of trees in it. DEC's School Seedling Program provides New York State's school students with this experience.

Most of us recognize the beauty of trees and their many other values. Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife and prevent loss of soil (erosion). They help protect our streams and lakes by stabilizing soil and using nutrients that would otherwise wash into waterways. Trees help moderate temperature and muffle noise. They even help improve air quality by absorbing some airborne compounds that could be harmful to us, and by giving off oxygen.

When students plant tree seedlings, they can see for themselves the structure of trees, learn what they need and how they grow. Mr. Hoffman used the planting process to discuss the benefits trees provide, while including many subjects that their classes are studying. As seedlings mature, the young trees can be a continuing, personalized way of relating what they've learned in books to visible, living examples.

Students become aware that they can play a role in protecting the environment through personal involvement in establishing a grove of trees. Ultimately, it is hoped that the experience will help them make intelligent decisions about conservation and use of natural resources.