Walnut Ridge celebrates Earth Day


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  • Students demonstrate how to hold their Truffula trees on bus, including bus driver in center.




  • Walnut Ridge students listen intently to the Earth Day/Arbor Day presentation.




  • Principal Rosemary Gebhardt introduces the Walnut Ridge Earth Day and Arbor Day Assembly.



VERNON — Walnut Ridge Primary School went all out on April 12 celebrating both Earth Day and Arbor Day, courtesy of the School and Community Association.

Principal Rosemary Gebhardt introduced the assembly; Media Specialist Benjamin E. Joseph created a multi-media movie for the students, including clips from Dr. Seuss' “The Lorax;” and Gebhardt and students demonstrated how to plant “Truffula” trees – actually white cedar.

As part of the April Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations, Walnut Ridge dug 28 holes, eight inches deep, and 18 inches wide, allowing each classroom to plant their very own tree on the grounds. In addition, each student received a white cedar sapling to plant at home.

On top of the white cedar saplings, each student received their own copy of “The Lorax” book and a Lorax mustache. Teachers also received a hardback copy of “The Lorax” for their libraries to read to students; personnel wore special Arbor Day t-shirts, and received trail mix treats. SCA President Trisha Furman-Leve could be seen pushing carts of things through halls and helping make the day a success for the entire school.

Gebhardt said every month the SCA does something for the staff at Walnut Ridge. She added, a few weeks ago they even made a whole St. Patrick's Day celebration.

During Joseph's movie, he explained Earth Day began in 1970 when an oil spill occurred in C.A. Gaylord Nelson then started the day in order to remind people to take care of the earth and natural resources.

Joseph continued, J. Sterling Morton began Arbor Day in 1872, because he thought more trees should be planted. On the first Arbor Day, Joseph said, over one million trees were planted. Now, Arbor Day is celebrated all over the world.

During funny interspersed “Lorax” clips, the students sat mesmerized and joyfully laughed.

Students also demonstrated how to take good care of their saplings while riding home on the school bus; and each student made a classroom and personal pledge to help the earth.

In conclusion, Gebhardt tied everything together for the students: planting their own trees, “The Lorax,” Earth Day, and Arbor Day. She reminded them of the composting they do at Walnut Ridge, which then goes to Drew Farms in Vernon, to be mixed into the soil, resulting in great fruits and vegetables.

Gebhardt spoke of the blue recycling bins the students use, which go to the Vernon Recycling Center; and a company then makes new things with their recycling.

Finally, Gebhardt said the students already constantly give back to the environment.

At the end of Joseph's movie, the Once-ler from “The Lorax” says in a deep voice, “Thank you, Walnut Ridge.”


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