The students of Daniel Webster School and Theodore Roosevelt School showed off their green thumbs on Thursday by planting flowers and a tree in their school community gardens to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day.
Coming this summer, Webster School’s Reading Garden – adjacent to the school building on Palisade Avenue – will bloom with 342 pansies in various colors.
“This is our first of many activities here in the Reading Garden,” said Principal Anthony Colasurdo last week. “This is really the kick off of our spring activities.”
“I like flowers because they bring bees, and I like bees because they make honey and they help people.” – Sophia Moreno
“We’re planting flowers because it was Earth Day yesterday,” said Sophia Moreno, 8, second grade. “I like flowers because they bring bees, and I like bees because they make honey and they help people.”
Sophia and her classmates have been learning about the importance of recycling and conserving energy in order to keep the earth beautiful and green.
“[We learned] that you can recycle and reuse things just like everything else,” said Sophia.
Making Weehawken green
Over at Roosevelt School, 50 students came together to plant a Japanese Hydrangea tree in their school garden.
“The students put blue and green ribbons of hope [on the tree] for Earth Day wishes,” said Lisa Zentner, who runs the garden club at Roosevelt School. “Also as part of Earth Day, both of the schools shut off their lights for 10 minutes to make a silent powerful statement about conserving energy.”
Parent volunteer Zentner arranged the Earth Day/Arbor Day activities for both schools, along with a group of community volunteers who helped with the planting.
“Each child received sunflower seeds to plant at home and attract bees to save them from extinction,” said Zentner. “They have a slogan: ‘Save a bee and save the planet’.”
The Garden Club at Roosevelt School had also collected morning glory seeds from the fall, and made hand drawn packets for the seeds.
“The packets were given out to the students so they can plant them and beautify Weehawken,” said Zentner.
Mayor Richard Turner attended both events with School Board President Richard Barsa and Councilman Robert Sosa.
“All day yesterday [Earth Day] the emphasis was on the green revolution, [the importance] of protection of the environment, and how you can save the environment,” said Turner. “Today the emphasis is on the greenery side; saving energy, recycling and reusing.”
According to Turner, over the last several years, the township has emphasized planting new trees and providing more green spaces for the community.
“We estimated that over the last 10 to 15 years we have planted 1,500 [new] trees in town,” said Turner.
On Thursday between 8:40 a.m. and 12 p.m., Zentner and volunteers helped the kids at Webster School plant their pansies in the reading garden. Two parents even dressed up as Mary Mary Quite Contrary and greeted the students at the garden’s gate as they entered.
“The flowers came from Mayor Turner and the Township Council,” said Zentner.
Members of the Weehawken Public Library also came to help, and the children were read to by senior citizen Charles Walters, who frequently volunteers his time reading to kids in the community. In addition, the Webster School students were also planning to plant more flowers in their school garden, which wraps around the building.
Jessica Rosero may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org