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This spring Longwood Gardens is going back to school—six schools to be exact. And we’re bringing trees and arborists with us, too.
Lead by our School and Youth programs team and our staff of arborists, Longwood Gardens is doing a community outreach tree planting project at six local schools ranging from elementary schools to high schools. The specific schools are yet to be announced, but two schools from the following districts will be selected: Unionville-Chadds Ford school district, Kennett Consolidated school district, and West Chester Area school district.
“Longwood Gardens' history is rooted deep in our trees,” says Kate Trzaskos, school and youth programs coordinator, “The goal of this project is to teach and share our knowledge about the importance of trees with our community and future generations.”
Curriculum specialist Michelle Cugini said that over the past few years there have been a lot of requests by local school districts for arborists and gardeners from Longwood Gardens to make school appearances for Earth Day and Arbor Day.
“This is the first year we’re trying an interactive project where we visit local schools, provide engaging and easy-to-digest information about trees, and plant a tree provided by Longwood Gardens with the help of students,” says Cugini.
Senior arborist Andrew Lyman will be one of the team members from Longwood visiting the schools this April and May—and he can’t wait to share his passion with the community.
Lyman says, “We need to teach kids the importance of ecological and environmental responsibility while they are young. They need to know that trees are so much more than just aesthetically pleasing. Trees sequester carbon dioxide, remove particulates and produce oxygen which improves air quality. Trees can help to reduce heating and cooling costs if planted properly around houses. In colonial times, deciduous trees were frequently planted on the south west side of houses to shield the house from late afternoon sun in the summer. When the tree lost its leaves in the fall, the sun could still shine through the tree and heat the house. Trees can provide wind breaks in open areas that reduce the cooling effects of wind. Trees help to mitigate water runoff during storms or floods and stabilize soils that might erode without the presence of roots. I don’t think trees will single-handedly save the world but they are one part of the solution.”
Although the specific trees that are going to be planted at each school have not been decided, Lyman says that his team will visit each site and figure out what the best tree is for each location.
“We will discuss this when we meet with students—but one of the first steps to successfully planting a tree is to consider the cultural requirements of the tree and then plant appropriately. Considering sun and wind exposure, soil moisture, and soil quality are important factors to know before selecting a tree. Also consider how large the tree is going to be at maturity and make sure it is not planted too close to structures or other trees,” says Lyman.
Be sure to bookmark our website and frequently check our blog to learn about the progress and results of Longwood Gardens community projects like this one.
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Meet the arborists and gardeners that care for our trees and flowers throughout Spring Blooms, and see demonstrations throughout our Conservatory and outdoor gardens.
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Get ready for an evening of oohs and ahhs, as Longwood presents spectacular Fireworks & Fountains shows guaranteed to make your summer memorable.
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Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
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