Students participating in Dunes Learning Center programs at their school, planted 200 trees across Hobart, Portage, and East Chicago in honor of Arbor Day last month. Thanks to the Million Trees Project.
A project of Living Lands & Waters, The Million Trees project engages communities, students and teachers through tree preparation and planting events. Increasing biodiversity, providing habitat and food for wildlife, increasing air and water quality, reducing erosion and sedimentation, and enhancing aesthetics are just a few of the benefits derived from planting trees, they say.
It turns out that Cargill, in nearby Hammond, has donated approximately 25,000 trees over the past 4 years as part of that project. This year, 200 trees—100 burr oak and 100 white swamp oak—found their way into the hands of Dunes Learning Center outreach coordinator, Amber Horbovetz. She works on educational restoration and stewardship projects with more than 2,500 kids across the region and knew just what to do with the saplings. “Planting a tree is an activity that captures kids’ imaginations and empowers them,” she says. Within hours, the trees were in the eager hands of 200 young environmental scientists.
Mighty Acorns students took the majority of the trees home, with the intent of planting them in their communities.
“I remember a student saying, "The more trees we plant, the better we can make the Earth!"" Sarah Gill, a teacher at Jones Elementary in Portage told us. “I was so proud of that comment.”
Arbor Day is held every year on the last Friday in April. Learn how you can celebrate Arbor Day in your community at www.arborday.org.