Friends in the news

Arbor Day Celebrations

Arbor Day is a busy time around the FGRP office. Last year, we planted over 100 new trees in Riverside Park. This year, we chose to celebrate a little differently.

On Friday, August 25th (Arbor Day for the uninitiated) Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the Association of Grand Raplds Landscape Professionals (AGRLP) partnered to plant 10 new trees on the north end of Martin Luther King Park (picture at right). These Hackberry and American Elm are expected to provide significant environmental benefit and provide enjoyment for years to come.

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Several Friends of Grand Rapids Parks volunteers were also busy celebrating trees with area elementary schools. Dotti Clune, Dave Huyser, and Dave Proulx graciously visited 1st, 5th, and kindergarteners at the Child Discovery Center and 3rd graders at Congress Elementary to help learn about the Tree's Life Cycle and germinate some Lima Beans and Acorns.

At the Child Discovery Center, Kindergarteners and 1st graders were paired with their 5th grade learning buddies. The older kids helped the younger ones take notes and handle the activities.

"It was fantastic to watch the children work together!" said Sara Drews, fifth grade teacher. "The children were impressive in the amount of knowledge they have about trees and we were really impressed with the presentation by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks volunteers."
"I was impressed by how much everyone brought to the experience, as the kids had just brainstormed over the course of the week what they knew about trees," added Anne Rasch, kindergarten and 1st grade teacher. "The multiaged component was very special to our younger studnets. I don't know if it meant as much to the Fifth Graders, but our k-1 students felt like they really celebrated trees and Arbor Day this year!"

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With another Arbor Day behind us, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is pleased to see how much our community cares for trees. Whether a landscape professional, or studnets in a school trees are important to the character of our neighborhoods. While Arbor Day is a simple opportunity to celebrate trees, we should all strive to recognize their benefits more often.

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