Eagle County: Fourth-graders get green thumbs | VailDaily.com
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Eagle County: Fourth-graders get green thumbs

Melanie WongVail, CO Colorado
Mallory Olenius/Vail DailySierra Mangrinch, 9, receives her Norwood spruce tree on Friday. The fourth graders of Brush Creek Elementary got their own trees to plant in celebration of Arbor Day.
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EAGLE COUNTY What is so important about trees? Markian Feduschak asked the group of fourth-graders at Brush Creek Elementary School.Theyre pretty!They give us fruit!They make oxygen!Newspapers!More than 500 fourth graders in the school district got baby spruce trees to plant for Arbor Day. The trees are part of the nationwide Fourth Grade Foresters program and were donated by Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate. The program targets fourth graders because that tends to be the most impressionable age, said Cara Connolly, of Slifer Smith & Frampton.Our future generation is the key to assuring our valley continues to be the unique place it is today, she said. It is important that we support their education and the preservation of our surroundings for years to come.Feduschak, executive director of the Gore Range Natural Science School, talked to the students about how trees prevent mudslides and produce oxygen.One tree can produce 260 pounds of oxygen, the amount consumed by 18 people annually, he said.Feduschak encouraged the students to come to Eagles Party for the Planet on Saturday to plant the trees. The spruce trees grow well at high altitude and can be identified by their square, spiky needles. He also talked to the kids about preserving trees, both by planting and by recycling. About 85 million tons of paper are used in the United States each year, he said, eliciting whoooas from the kids.Jessie Hartley, 10, said she doesnt have much of a green thumb, but she wants to try to get her tree to grow with the help of her father.We have a huge open space in our backyard surrounded by trees. I want to plant it right in the middle, she said.The students were excited to get their trees and shared ideas on how to plant them. I heard if you put soap around the tree, it keeps deer from getting to it, one student said.Im going to put it by the window, another said.Remy Beveridge, 9, said it was neat to learn about all the different ways that trees help the planet.Weve been learning about how trees effect erosion in class, she said.She also was surprised to learn the amount of paper used each year.It makes me want to try and recycle more, she said.Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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