WILLIAMSTOWN -Williamstown officials received help from roughly 70 Williamstown Elementary School kindergarten students in planting the city's annual National Arbor Day tree on Friday.
The students each put a shovel-full of soil around the tree in the small ceremony that included Williamstown City Council members Paul Jordan, Ron Erb and Barbara Lewis; city tree committee members Sandy Haynes and Patty Varner and city employee Richard Maidens.
"It means a lot to us teachers and students to be part of this," said kindergarten teacher Jamie Deem. "Taking care of trees and nature helps the children learn that there is more to the world than them and there are a lot of things each of us can do for the Earth."
Williamstown Elementary School kindergarten students help the city plant this year’s National Arbor
Jordan, who is also chairman of the city's tree committee, said he wanted each child to put a shovel-full of dirt around the tree so they would feel a sense of ownership.
"We thought it would be neat this year to do it at the school so the kindergarten students can grow with the tree all six years they will be at the school," Jordan said.
The group planted a tree in a garden area of the elementary school grounds with plans to put in more flowers and make the spot a place for students to read and teachers to relax, Jordan said.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Kindergarten students at Williamstown Elementary School help plant the city’s National Arbor Day tree in a garden at the school on Friday with the aid of Williamstown City Councilman Paul Jordan and Andy Sheetz with the West Virginia Division of Forestry.
"This is one of many things we hope to plant here," he said.
Andy Sheetz with the West Virginia Division of Forestry presented Jordan, Erb and Lewis stickers and a flag to mark the 27 years Williamstown has been named a Tree City USA.
"Williamstown is (West Virginia's) longest continuous running Tree City USA and that means a lot to us," Sheetz said.
Jordan said it is thanks to the former and current members of the tree committee that the City of Williamstown has enjoyed the distinction of being a Tree City USA for so long.
"It is a lot of work for the city and the tree committee to keep up with," Jordan said in February. "But it is something we do because it helps make our city more special."