Well it rained – again at our tree planting event at Loxton Park! But we don’t need sunshine to make our day sunny when we have 25-super smiley children from St Joseph’s Infant’s School, Nechells to brighten our morning.
These 25 wonderful children were so eager to get planting trees they got to site extra early – but we don’t mind that at all. In three shifts the Year One children arrived by school mini bus with their high vis jacket on and a can-do attitude they were our youngest bunch of tree planting pupils this year.
While the Woodland team finished digging the holes for the ten flowering cherry trees, we had a game of Hokey Cokey, sang some beautiful Christmas carols, we looked for worms, played tree statues and sang Jingle Bells, not to mention dance the soil stomping dance!
It was a wonderful morning as the children were eager to get going. The year one children fuelled up on their school snack of bagels and bananas were eager to grab their spades and dig some soil to plant the trees. Despite the children being our smallest so far they really-engaged and weren’t put off by the rain or digging the trees down with soil and lots of muddy stomping.
How many are we planting…? What colour will the flowers on the trees be…? Will the flowers be the same colour as my pink wellies….?
Their most poignant statement, ‘we couldn’t survive in the world without trees, they keep us alive.’
‘No,’ we agreed, ‘trees really are nature’s lungs! It’s amazing how switched on young children are when it comes to the most important environmental issues.
The children wandered from one tree to another ensuring that every tree was dug down, was planted in a straight line, and that it was happy in the ground. As the rain got heavier the children didn’t lose their sense of humour and asked whether we should water the trees with a knowing smile.
As we dug and spread the soil the children shared their knowledge about trees and how important they are to our environment. Planting a tree is a beautiful, meaningful, symbolic thing to do. All the children were exceptionally proud to have planted trees in their local area to help everyone breathe cleaner air. Even at aged five and six these children were waxing lyrical about all the amazing benefits of trees.
It was quite clear that the children love trees of all kinds, but when they are given an opportunity to plant a tree it’s gives them practical experience and pride in knowing that they have changed the world that little bit for the better. And as we packed up for the day the children explained how it a Christmas lunch at school that day. Not to mention a surprise Christmas film afternoon the school had planned for the children.
And as great days go, planting trees, eating Christmas Dinner and a cinema afternoon, as well as super smiles all morning – well that’s a pretty good day as far as we are concerned!
Liz Shipman, teacher at St Joseph’s school say: ‘ It was a cold and wet December morning when we arrived at Loxton Park excited and full of expectation at the thought of planting trees. We weren’t disappointed for Justine and her team were just as eager to involve us in the project and pass on their knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm for planting trees here in Nechells. It was a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors, get close up to trees and learn why they are so important to our lives. Thank you again for allowing us to be part of this amazing scheme!
Please check out the rest of the photo album form the Loxton Park planting, here