Florida Arbor Day arrived at Macclenny Elementary the afternoon of January 19 when students lent many a helping hand to plant four river birch trees in the school’s backyard while learning about them from county forester Andy Lamborn of the Florida Forest Service.
Two hundred and sixty nine students in all were briefed about the history of Arbor Day and trees themselves — how they clean the air, soak up water and nutrients from the soil and contribute to many, many things we use everyday, including toothbrushes and paper products.
Groups of four classes at a time gathered outside their classrooms around a pre-dug hole and potted river birch tree, which Mr. Lamborn said was chosen over other varieties because of its heartiness.
“It can handle just about anything,” he said.
The soil at Macclenny Elementary is rich with clay, likely used as fill material during the school’s construction, but the river birch can still thrive there. It’s also cold tolerant.