Over twenty students participated in a community service event on November 26th, 2015, planting twenty California native Elderberry trees to create shade on our campus, and pruning countless trees and shrubs while removing invasive species from San Lorenzo High School’s native plant garden. These efforts both prepare the native plant garden for the annual plant sale/native garden tour to take place in May, as well as maintain San Lorenzo’s sustainable landscaping. In the process, students learned how to successfully transplant young trees and prune mature ones.
In my experience, this tree planting event denominated “SLZ Arbor Day”, is the most productive and convenient way for students like myself to gain hands-on knowledge and experience with environmental science concepts. It was exciting for me to absorb that the California Buckeye is deciduous, thus losing its leaves in the summer, and that watering a plant around a relative radius as to not expose the roots and remove air bubbles from the freshly planted soil guarantee its prosperity!
Native landscaping and invasive species removal is critical to a region like California, experiencing exceptional drought. However, this education will hopefully last longer than our current predicament and persuade the community, especially the youth, to consciously consider garden sustainability. This is something that encompasses all environmental work from conservation to habitat restoration. Events like these are significant because through the eye of a student, understanding the connections between the water that comes out of the faucet, and the succulents replacing our lawns create a network of environmental awareness.
– Raquel Crites