Westlake fifth-graders explain importance of trees

Parkside fifth-graders plant a Valley Forge Elm in the school’s front yard for Arbor Day. Photo by Tara Wendell

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Parkside Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays were limited to 150 words and included information about the importance of trees for the city and its residents.

The students' posters were colorful illustrations of the area's trees and the theme “Why Trees are Important to the City of Westlake.” The posters showed methods of preserving and protecting trees as well as encouraging the planting of new trees for shade, erosion control, animal habitats, wind shelters and beauty. The posters were judged by the Westlake City Tree Commission members Mary Beth Schneidler, Margie Rossander, John Walz, Thea Steinmetz, Diane Morris, Westlake City Arborist Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn.

The poster contest and tree planting are part of Westlake's designation as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Being a Tree City USA requires the city to meet criteria to ensure the preservation and protection of trees as well as observing Arbor Day celebrations for the community. This is the city's 23rd year earning this designation and was the second year for the poster contest.

Each of the fifth-graders who submitted a poster was invited to the ceremony and tree planting. With their principal Mark Bregar, all these students helped plant the new tree, a Valley Forge Elm, in the school's front yard on Hilliard Boulevard. The elm was chosen as it is resistant to Dutch Elm disease and will provide shade and beautify the school grounds.

The six winning entries were submitted by Sara Hamed, Gabe Samide, Paul Rossander, Ian Healey, Macey Chatterton and Neil Thakkar. The winners received a proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough proclaiming their day in the city of Westlake. They also received green and white rosette ribbons from the Tree Commission.

All posters submitted will be on display at the Westlake Recreation Center through the end of April. Congratulations to all!

Read More on Schools
Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.29.2014