Students dig Earth Day

Children participate in variety of projects to beautify the area
by: John Klicker, Students from Hollydale Elementary gather litter along Springwater Trail as they walk under the overpass at 179th on Friday, April 18. Students and teachers at Hollydale tended their school’s garden, planted flowers and organized community clean-ups as part of Earth Day celebrations at the school.

Jacob Cleverley, 9, and Kayla Kero, 11, each have their own special motives for working in the garden at Hollydale Elementary School. The students are among the school's 'plant leaders,' children who work on a weekly basis in the garden.

Jacob, in fourth grade, is straight to the point about why he's there.

'You get to work with dirt!'

Kayla is more philosophical.

'I like planting seeds and watching them grow, and I like working with other people.'

Jacob adds that his father inspired him to help tend the school garden by having him assist with the family home garden.

'My dad taught me all about it, and I thought it would be fun to work with other students, so I joined.

Whatever their reasons, the children clearly enjoy observing Earth Day, which Hollydale, 505 S.W. Birdsdale Drive, celebrated with a variety of service projects Friday, April 18.

Students from the school mulched, picked up litter and filled pots with plants among other activities at the school as well as at such locations as Springwater Trail, Butler Creek Corridor and Hollybrook Park.

Anthony and Julie Melton, parent volunteers, help the plant leaders with the garden. Anthony notes that his daughter, Arianne, is a sixth-grader at Dexter McCarty Middle School who used to attend Hollydale and who helped out with the garden. The couple also has a son, Peter, 8, in third grade at Hollydale.

The plant leaders are selected from the fourth and fifth grades for their work ethic and dedication, he says.

'We try and expose them as much as possible to the joys of being outside in a garden,' Anthony says.

Principal Elaine Luckenbaugh adds that the Earth Day celebration was set to end with an afternoon assembly.

'Today we're really working on making kids know about recycling, reducing and reusing, so kids will take care of our environment.'

Reporter Rob Cullivan can be reached at rcullivan@theout