CPE 4th and 5th grade students recently completed phase II of the Playground Tree Project. Four sweetgum trees were planted in a vacant strip along Bush Street. Two of these trees were donated by Four Seasons Nursery on Crater Lake Avenue, and two others were donated by Shooting Star Nursery on Taylor Road. (Be sure to stop in and thank Tim at Four Season and Scott and Christie at Shooting Star for their support!) In keeping with giving students “ownership” of the trees, each class gave the tree it planted a name. Stewie, Mr. Tree, and Toto now grace the south side of the school grounds. The fourth tree was named Jeremiah Masoli after the Duck quarterback, but his recent brush with the law has prompted Ms. McNeil’s class to consider a new name.
Students from Room 15 also planted two new trees, these on the north side of the property along Ash Street. Former principal Brock Rowley sponsored two deodar cedars in hopes that they will one day lend balance to the campus, complimenting the two 77-year-old deodars on the southeast corner. Our two new cedars are named Mojo and TreeBob BucketPants.
Though one of our gum trees from last year’s planting recently met its end at the hands of vandals, it was quickly replaced (again courtesy of Mr. Rowley) with a Shumard oak tree. This tree is substantially bigger than the little gum seedling it replaced, and because it tolerates poor soil and dry conditions, it is much better suited to the site. We look forward to it providing playground shade to many future generations of CPE kids.
Getting ready to plant “Mojo”
Preparing Mojo for planting
Planting TreeBob BucketPants
Room 15 kids pose with newly planted Deodar Cedar, “Mojo.”
Mrs. Mac’s class tree on Bush Street
Sweetgum tree donated by Shooting Star Nursery
Miss Moore’s class with tree donated by Four Seasons
The tree that used to be known as Jeremiah Masoli.
Student representatives from Mrs. Soter’s third grade and Mr. Lewis’ fifth grade worked with City crews on Tuesday, February 17th to plant four new trees along 2nd Street. The trees replace the three gum trees cut down by a vandal three weeks ago. Due in large part to the publicity generated by Billy Bob Thornton’s acknowledgment following the original incident, camera crews from KOBI5, KTVL10, and KDRV12 were on the scene, along with Buffy Pollock from the Mail Tribune, to witness the planting and interview kids. Naturally, the fifth graders renamed one of the new trees Billy Bob Thornton, Jr.. The second tree has been dubbed Nemo, while the third graders have yet to decide upon names. It would make sense if one of them were named Myrtle, as the new trees are all crape myrtles from Shooting Star Nursery on Taylor Road in Central Point.
Another big thanks to Public Works Director Bob Pierce, Maintenance Supervisor Don Dunn, and the rest of the City crewmen for their effort and generosity.
For pictures from the day’s events, click on the link under Special Events. You can also read the latest Mail Tribune article here. And, for even more fun, check out Mr. Thornton’s official website, Billybobapalooza, for their coverage of our Tree Saga!
Room 15 students participated in Josephine County’s 20th Annual Tree Plant on Friday, February 13th. After learning a little about Oregon’s logging history, students were given an orientation on tree planting and sustainable logging practices. The class was then transported to the planting site by tractor. There they collectively planted about 100 conifer seedlings. Students staked “dog tags” engraved with their name and year near their trees. Years from now they can return to the site and find the tree they planted. Because the planting was an outcome of our own Tree Project saga, Gage G. planted and staked a tree on behalf of Billy Bob Thornton. According to Josephine County Forestry, student plantings have about a 90% success rate, while professional crews typically attain only a 60% success rate, so this Billy Bob tree has a good shot at a long life! (For more pics from the trip, click on the picture!)
Room 15 representatives Haily S. and Vittoria I. attended a meeting with City officials at City Hall on Thursday the 4th. They did an exceptional job of representing our school. As a result of their leadership, the City of Central Point will be leading classroom representatives in the planting of four crape myrtle trees along 2nd Street on February 17th. But that’s not the only news. Since our Tree Project saga appeared in the Mail Tribune, support for replanting has continued to grow. In addition to the organizations and individuals identified in our earlier posts, Terry at Peaceful Hill Nursery in Rogue River has volunteered his product and knowledge. The Medford Office of the Bureau of Land Management has offered its assistance and has invited Room 15 kids to visit one of its forest nurseries. We’ve also heard again from Mr. Thornton–he blogged on the “Sprouts Anew” post below (click “comments” to read his entry). We’ve scheduled a presentation by the Oregon Tree Project for March 3rd, at which time we hope to begin mapping Central Point’s significant trees. Finally, we’ll be participating in a reforestation project in Josephine County on Friday, Feb. 13th. Students will leave CPE at 11:00, traveling to the end of Elk Road west of Grants Pass. After having a sack lunch, students will be taken to the planting site by tractor. Each student will plant five trees while learning about how reforestation programs such as this one help sustain the timber industry here in Oregon. The students will return to CPE at approximately 3:20. This reforestation project stems from the efforts of Ross Roe, founder of Roe Motors in Grants Pass. Mr. Roe has been organizing the event for twenty years. For more information, click here.
Wow! The response to Buffy Pollock’s Mail Tribune article (see below) about the destruction of our 2nd Street gum trees has been tremendous. Thanks to an outpouring of community support, Cocoa, Crystal, and Billy Bob Thornton will all sprout anew.
Shooting Star Nursery on Taylor Road in Central Point, Four Seasons Nursery on Crater Lake Avenue in Medford, and the Lombardo’s home nursery in O’Brien have all offered to donate replacement trees. (The Lombardo’s have offered seedlings grown from the historic Bidwell Park gum trees in Chico, California.) Josephine County has invited CPE students to participate in a reforestation project, and the Oregon Heritage Tree Project has invited Room 15 kids to participate in a special activity. Dale Wall, a retired CPE teacher, stopped in and provided a cash donation to be put toward the re-planting. The City of Central Point has offered to donate trees and the services of its crew to make sure the job is done right. The students in Jaime Hartt and Rebecca Campbell’s Contemporary World Issues class at Crater High sent personally-written cards expressing condolences for the loss of the trees. Lastly, the personal staff of Billy Bob Thornton (not the tree, but the actor) has contacted us to express that Mr. Thornton is saddened by the loss of the trees and would like to help.
To all this, the students and staff at CPE express our amazement and thanks! Read the follow-up article in the Mail Tribune and stay tuned . . .
CPE’s Playground Tree Project took a sad turn when someone chopped down three of the young trees planted along Second Street. The Central PointPolice Department has cited the vandal, and Buffy Pollock’s article in the Mail Tribune has created a positive community response. To read Buffy’s frontpage article, click here.