Thursday May 17, 2012
On an early spring morning in May, the Rick Marcotte Central School community joined together for a special outdoor ceremony in celebration of Arbor Day. Children gathered on the playground around two newly planted Thornless Honeylocust trees while the 5th graders educated everyone about the history of Arbor Day. Fifth Grade teacher Bobbe Pennington officiated the opening ceremony while Brenda Balon, 5th grade RMCS parent discussed the trees and shared fun facts about the Thornless Honeylocust history.
RMCS was one of 10 schools in Chittenden and Addison counties that participated in the “Greening Schools on Arbor Day Program”. If selected, each school would receive one large shade or ornamental tree for their 2012 Arbor Day Ceremony. A special thank you to Charlie Proutt and Eileen Schilling, owners of Horsford Nursery in Charlotte, for awarding a tree to each school. RMCS responded to questions on the application in regards to caring for the tree and where the tree will be planted. The grant applications were then evaluated by the Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation, Urban and Community Forestry Program.
RMCS was pleased that their responses awarded them a tree of their choice; a Thornless Honeylocust that would be suitable for the area that the young tree would now call home. A heartfelt thank you goes to Brenda Balon for coordinating the tree grant application, planting process and contribution to the Arbor Day Ceremony. Balon also devoted her time along with RMCS Groundskeepers Lawrence Francis and Jeremy Rushford to walk the school grounds to determine the best place for the new tree to be planted. The PTO then purchased a second Thornless Honeylocust tree. Thank you to the RMCS community for making this additional tree possible.
Not only will the new trees be remembered each year on Arbor Day but RMCS principal Sue Luck says “they will eventually provide shade for us and habitats for critters”. The Honeylocust trees will also serve as the focal point and entryway to RMCS’s new outdoor classroom…a vision now becoming a reality. The tree plantings provide the gateway to the new outdoor classroom that is located in a quiet corner of the school playground. Martin LaLonde, RMCS 4th grade parent, had a vision of what the outdoor classroom would look like. LaLonde then began to create and facilitate the process. Chris Tudor, RMCS 4th grade and kindergarten parent, and Noah Beatty, RMCS alumni, began constructing the classroom last summer by placing a cluster of tree stumps that would later serve as classroom seating. In addition to the seating, a table and stage will later be incorporated along with a whiteboard purchased by the PTO and to store it, an outdoor cabinet built by Tudor.
As the school year comes to a close it is time reflect on all of the wonderful memories that were created throughout the year, from the Holiday Giving Tree and Annual Spring Fair to Staff Appreciation Week, the generosity of the Rick Marcotte Central School community has made all of these things possible. Enjoy the summer!
SOURCE: Julie Brancato, RMCS PTO