— Why is it important for Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB), in partnership with the city of Akron, to empower fourth-grade students to plant their own seedlings on Arbor Day? Teacher Shannon LaMarca and her fourth graders at Schumacher Community Learning Center wrote their winning 10-word slogan to express how fruit trees nurture their body.
A panel of five judges chose that slogan as the best one submitted out of 22 in 2016. On Friday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m. Mayor Daniel Horrigan will present a proclamation and certificate to Principal Brandi Davis, and R.B. Stout Inc. will install a donated tree at Schumacher Community Learning Center, located at 1020 Hartford Ave., in Akron. Ward 4 Councilman Russell Neal has been invited to the tree planting.
Pam Ray, education specialist for Keep Akron Beautiful, delivered 54 classroom presentations about the origin and importance of this national holiday to fourth-grade classes in public, private and charter schools in Akron.
The second place winning slogan, “Pick an apple from a tree-healthy you and healthy me,” was composed by a class at Forest Hill Community Learning Center, under the leadership of teacher Tracy Visco. Vizmeg Landscaping will install a donated tree on Friday April 29 at 9:00 a.m., coordinated by Principal Gregory Blondheim at their campus located at 850 Damon St. Ward 2 Councilman Bruce Kilby has been invited to the tree planting.
“Find a wealth of health on branches of fruit trees,” was the third place winner, written by the fourth-grade class of teachers Felicia Moga and Letizia Robinson at Mason Community Learning Center, 700 E. Exchange St., in Akron. Principal Stephanie Churn is working with Suncrest Gardens to select the appropriate tree to plant on their school grounds for the tree planting at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples has been invited to the tree planting.
The 2016 Arbor Day judges included Tammy Brady, principal of Resnik Community Learning Center; Emily Petrarca, Keep Akron Beautiful volunteer; John P. Miller: Keep Akron Beautiful Board of Directors member; Helen Dauka: Keep Akron Beautiful Communication & Volunteer Manager; and Jon Malish, Engineering Construction for the City of Akron.
The nonprofit agency, Keep Akron Beautiful thanks the Engineering Department of the City of Akron for the assistance in selecting 2,500 American Plum seedlings to give to each public, charter and private school fourth-grade student in the city to commemorate Arbor Day.
A special thanks is given to the First Energy Foundation for their grant dollars, which made the seedling distribution possible. Bill Hahn & Jon Malish, two of the City’s Arborists, will assist with the packing of the seedlings in SoilMoist donated by JRM Chemical of Cleveland.
Organizers also thank Walgreen’s on South Arlington Street, Akron, for the bags students used to carry their seedlings home, as well as Don Prather of Custom PolyBags. The seedlings are delivered to the schools by KAB volunteers on April 29.
The City of Akron was awarded its 20th Tree City Award by the Arbor Day Foundation. Ohio has more certified Tree Cities than any other state. For info, visit www.keepakronbeautiful.org.