Westlake fifth-graders emphasize importance of trees

Dover Intermediate students gather around "Elmer," the elm tree planted in the school's yard in celebration of Arbor Day. Photo by Stan Barnard

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Dover Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays 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, Diane Morris, Westlake City Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn. 

The poster contest and tree planting are components 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 24th year earning this designation and was the third year for the poster contest.

All of the fifth-graders who submitted a poster for the contest were invited to the ceremony and tree planting.  With their principal Mark Bregar, the students helped plant an elm tree in the school's side yard. The elm was chosen as it will provide shade and beautify the school grounds. This species should grow to over 50 feet and be enjoyed for generations to come. The students joyfully shoveled dirt around the roots and even named the tree “Elmer” in deference to the species planted. 

The six winning entries were submitted by Olivia Kneisly, Sophia Needham, Kendall Reis, Brooke Burich, Mia Iditoiu and M.E. Hargett. The winners received a proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough proclaiming their designated day in the City of Westlake. They also received green and white rosette ribbons from the Tree Commission. Congratulations to all!

Read More on Nature & Environment
Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.05.2015