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KAB marks Arbor Day with city fourth-graders

5/1/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

AKRON — Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB), in partnership with the city of Akron, recently offered an Arbor Day contest and the opportunity for fourth-grade students to plant their own seedlings.

Teacher Iisha Collier and her fourth-graders at Harris Elementary School wrote the winning slogan “No trees, no healthy air, please plant trees everywhere” to express in fewer than 10 words how the world would change if there were no trees. A panel of five judges chose that slogan as the best one submitted out of 30 in 2014. R.B. Stout donated a tree to be planted at the new school when the school building is finished in two years. On April 25, Ward 2 Akron City Councilman James Hurley presented a proclamation and award certificate to Principal Andrea Aller at Harris’ temporary campus at 400 W. Market St.

Pam Ray, education specialist for KAB, delivered 49 classroom presentations about the origin and importance of this national holiday to fourth-grade classes in public, private and charter schools in Akron. The second-place winning slogan, “The Earth without trees is crayons with no color” was composed by a class at Our Lady of the Elms Elementary School in West Akron, under the leadership of teacher Jody Lund. Vizmeg Landscaping will install a donated tree tomorrow, May 2, at 2:30 p.m. coordinated by Principal Marie Reichard at the campus at 1290 W. Market St. Ward 8 City Councilwoman Marilyn Keith has been invited.

“No trees…dirty air! Dirty air? YUCK! Don’t you care?” was the third-place winner, written by the fourth-grade class of teacher Joanne Seeley at Hatton Community Learning Center (CLC), 1993 Baker Ave. in Ellet. Principal Gregory Blondheim is working with Suncrest Gardens to select the appropriate tree to plant on their school grounds for the tree planting tomorrow, May 2, at 1 p.m. Ward 6 City Councilman Bob Hoch has been invited.

The 2014 Arbor Day judges included new Akron City Council member Tara Mosley-Samples (D-Ward 5); David Brown, principal of Bettes Elementary School; Jan Enright, a KAB volunteer; Megan Lee-Wilfong, principal of Windemere CLC; and Kimberly Summers, principal of Betty Jane CLC.

The nonprofit KAB had the assistance of the city of Akron Engineering Department in selecting 2,500 red bud seedlings to give to each public, charter and private school fourth-grade student in the city to commemorate Arbor Day. Bill Hahn, one of the city’s arborists, assisted with the packing of the seedlings in SoilMoist donated by JRM Chemical, of Cleveland. They were delivered to the schools by KAB volunteers April 24.

Akron has been awarded its 19th Tree City Award by the Arbor Day Foundation, according to KAB officials, who added Ohio has more certified Tree Cities than any other state.

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