Hamblen students brave rain to plant pondersosas | Community Spirit
Kindergarten students at Hamblen Elementary School braved the rain on Wednesday to dig in the dirt. Three classes and their parents spent the morning working with Spokane Ponderosa planting pine tree seedlings on the school grounds.
“These children are our stewards of the land tomorrow,” explained Patrish Brady of Spokane Ponderosa, a non-profit that focuses Ponderosa Pine education and preservation. “These trees will all be taller than they are when they reach sixth grade. Isn’t that something?”
The kindergarteners will get to watch the trees they planted at corner of the school yard grow over the years. For many of the students, it was the first time they were able to get their hands muddy and plant something of their own.
“I think it’s a great experience for them to the see the life cycle of the trees, and they get to experience that as they go through Hamblen,” said Kelly Estes, her daughter Cami loved securing her tree seedling with dirt, even if it did make her hands cold.
While the kids had fun digging holes, and pressing fresh mud around the small trees, today’s planting party was about more than playing in the dirt.
“It’s important for the students to know what’s supporting their ecosystem,” said Hamblen Principal Brad Lundstrom.
The Ponderosa Pine is native to the area, and plays a big part in our local ecosystem. The roots help to stabilize the soil, they act as a filter for our coveted aquifer, not to mention that the trees are drought and fire resistant. These are just some of the reasons that Spokane City Council is set to name the Ponderosa the official city tree.
“They have such an attribute to the community,” said Brady. “If people would understand those things they would see their value.”
Spokane Schools has seen the value of the Ponderosa Pine, as well as other trees for quite some time.
“Spokane Schools has a zero net loss policy,” explained Phil Lindstrom, the distict’s arborist. The policy means that for every tree they have to remove, one is planted to replace it. “We’re very tree friendly.”
“The little ones are getting the chance to do that now,” said Lindstrom. “How wonderful.”
Students at Hamblen aren’t the only ones working with Spokane Ponderosa this week. Students at Balboa will be planting on Friday, and high school classes from Rogers and Lewis and Clark will plant at Albi Stadium on Saturday and Tuesday.