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Groups join forces to plant trees at area schools

Groups join forces to plant trees at area schools

October 18th, 2017 by Jenny Gray in Local News

Rotary International President-elect, Ian Riseley, was in Jefferson City Friday for meetings with Rotarians and made a stop at Rotary Centennial Park on Bolivar Street to plant a red bud tree. Mayor Carrie Tergin, who is a member of the Breakfast Rotary Club, greeted him and was part of the ceremonial planting.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

By around noon Saturday, a tree for each Fulton Rotary Club member will be planted at each Fulton School District campus.

Rotary Club members will be joined by members of the Fulton Garden Club in the effort, planting about 80 trees each at Bush, McIntire and Bartley elementary schools, Fulton middle and high schools, and the Fulton Educational Center.

"What began as a suggestion by Ian H.S. Riseley, president of Rotary International, has become a collaborative project between Fulton's local Rotary, the Fulton Garden Club, the Callaway County Master Gardeners and Fulton Public Schools," former Rotary Club president Mary Ann Beahon said. "The groups are joining forces to benefit the environment by planting 80 Missouri native trees on the grounds of each (school)."

Volunteers are asked to meet at 8 a.m. in the area of the vocational agriculture classroom at the east end of Fulton High School. They are asked to bring tools such as shovels, mulch forks, scoop shovels, wheelbarrows and water buckets.

Volunteers might also consider bringing gloves, personal water bottles and sunscreen.

The morning will kick off with a brief tutorial by certified arborist volunteer Ryan Russell, and then transport and planting will begin. People with pickup trucks will be appreciated.

The project should be completed by noon.

"The Fulton Public Schools are thrilled to accept and partner with the Rotary tree donation," Jacque Cowherd, superintendent of schools and a Fulton Rotarian, said. "The trees will enhance every campus and provide an additional method to educate FPS students on native Missouri trees."

Riseley has asked every Rotary club to raise awareness of environmental issues by planting at least one tree for each member.

"I believe it is pasttime for the Rotary to recognize the need for sustainability in everything we do, not only for the good of Rotary, but for the survival of our planet," Riseley added.

When the Rotary Club of Fulton began discussing the project, the members decided to plant the trees in a public place, ultimately choosing the grounds of Fulton Public Schools. With the help of Carson Humphreys, vocational agriculture teacher, and Russell, also the parent of a Fulton student, a plan was drawn up to plant native Missouri trees.

"These Missouri native trees will provide the Fulton FFA forestry team an arboretum on the schools' campuses for them to practice identifying trees for competition and will show visitors to these schools the variety of Missouri trees," said Bob Sterner, Fulton Rotarian and project chair.

Building on the success of a past collaborative effort with the planting of the roundabout at U.S. Business 54 and Missouri Route O, the Fulton Garden Club also joined in, as well as the Master Gardeners. Donations were received from Bluebird Composting, Forest ReLeaf and Forrest Keeling nursery.

"From a Rotary suggestion, this project has grown with the enthusiasm of the other organizations," Sterner said. "The Garden Club has pledged financial support, particularly with sustaining the trees in coming years, and hopes to get a National Garden Club grant to help pay for this."

Co-chair Joan Berry Morris, a member of the Fulton Rotary and the Fulton Garden Club, said, "I'm enjoying that this project combines several of my interests: Rotary, gardening and supporting local public education."

Fulton Rotary Club members also will set up informational tables this weekend for World Polio Day. Rotarians will be at Mosers and C&R supermarkets from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday