| Apr 30, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - April 30, 2009 Making schoolyards greener one tree at a time by Julie Druker

Sarah, Emma and Garrett Calthorpe plant a tree a St. Parick's Catholic School in Harrowsmith

Jeff Scott, an arborist from Glenburnie, has been running Acorn Environment, a charitable environmental project for three years and his goal is to make schoolyards and playgrounds greener.

Jeff arranges for the schools to purchase trees from a wholesaler at wholesales prices ($40 for a 12-foot tree) and then stores them in a cold storage facility until they are ready to be planted.

The Limestone School Board is assisting in the project by doing the prep work and digging the holes prior to planting. Jeff suggests the types of trees that best suit the environment and assists in the planting at the schools.

The planting takes place during classroom hours and students are invited to participate in the planting process, gaining both knowledge and practical experience while creating a greener school environment.

Species, all native trees, include red and sugar maples, green ash, burr oak, sugar berry and lindens.

This year Jeff is working with 23 schools, 22 in the Limestone District School Board and one in the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic School Board.

In the past three years while he has run the project, a total of 500 trees have been planted in various schools in Frontenac County and the city of Kingston.

This week alone Jeff helped plant 25 trees at Loughborough Public School, 10 at Harrowsmith Public School and 15 at Perth Road Public School

I met Jeff and Kelly Calthorpe at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Harrowsmith. Kelly is a parent representative on the school council at St. Pat’s and is also a member of the playground committee there. She thought it would be a great opportunity to improve the playground facility and explained how the idea came about. “Someone passed on Jeff’s name to me and since we have been looking to improve the playground, we thought it would be a great idea.”

She approached St. Pat’s principal, Nadia Luciuk, who supported the idea and approved the funding.

As Jeff carries over another tree for planting he informs me that “Next year I hope to do all the schools in Frontenac County and Lennox and Addington as well.”

For further information about the project call Jeff Scott at 613-547-6906

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