Kutztown tree planting opens 7th graders eyes to world outside their window

Submitted One of the 190 trees planted by Kutztown 7th graders at the middle school.

Kutztown 7th graders recently received a real-world environmental lesson by planting 190 trees on the school district campus.

The 120 students devoted two days, Oct. 18 and 19, to plant the trees above the football field.

Kutztown 7th grade science teacher Jennifer Wyland told The Patriot that “the funding for this planting experience came from a grant through the Delaware Estuary, Schuylkill Action Network, received to increase environmental health and watershed protection.”

“Some of the other tree planting benefits are reducing maintenance costs and energy uses (primarily with mowing), providing wildlife habitat, positive benefits to the drinking supply, positive contributions to quantity and quality of surface and groundwater by addressing storm water generated on campus, joining the community ranks, especially the Kutztown Borough and local farmers; this is all part of a management plan that has been created,” writes Wyland.

“This project was officially started three years ago and will continue for as long as we can find future funding,” she writes.

Wyland hopes the students become more environmentally-friendly individuals and become stewards of their local environment.

“Most students, nowadays, are so busy picking up and playing with the newest technological devices, they lose their excitement for nature. It's disappointing when students don't even know what a pine tree looks like, for identification purposes, because they're more engaged inside their houses,” writes Wyland.

“Therefore, getting students involved in their local environments shifts their frames of mind into naturally curious scientists. Discovery becomes a process, and all of a sudden, their eyes are open to the wide world, outside their windows.”

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.