Trees on; air pollution gone

Living Lands and Waters promotes sustainability at West


West students get hands on with preparing tree saplings to be planted. Living Lands and Waters informs students on the native trees to our environment, as well as the process of growing the saplings.

Lucy Bernick, Reporter

While around 42 million trees are getting cut down worldwide every day, Living Lands and Waters is offsetting that with having West students bag tree saplings to keep air quality efficient, and soil erosion at a minimum. Thanks to the Ecology Club, Living Lands and Waters visited West on March 23rd-24th, 2023 to have the students participate in wrapping the roots in newspaper, dunking them in water, and then bagging them so they can be planted. The students of West came together to bag every tree that was brought by LLW, something that almost never happens.

“Our students wrapped every tree this year… and it’s very rare that living lands and waters runs out of trees at a tree wrapping event, usually they are taking trees and putting them back in the truck at the end,” teacher Mrs. Coyne-Logan said.

This achievement was great for the environment as well as a great experience for the students. They got to participate in preparing the saplings while learning about the native trees of our environment.

“Just getting hands on with the trees… it forces you to think a little bit more about where did this come from or how many trees are out there,” Ecology club teacher Mr. Arnold said.

 Living Lands and Waters has a nursery where they plant acorns and grow saplings, then harvest them and bring them to West. The trees that are being bagged are not only native to our area but are also reproducing acorns which will then grow into more saplings that can be bagged.

“You see how much work goes into doing all these things and creating these trees and it makes you more conscious about what you’re doing that could destroy that considering it takes so much effort,” junior Lanora Sprague said.

West has been working on becoming more sustainable by promoting recycling, having LLW come help plant trees every year, and having the Ecology Club growing different vegetables and plants in the greenhouse. Living Lands and Waters is approaching their goal of having planted 2 million trees by next year, which will help reduce the soil erosion that often happens when trash is removed from along the river; since that was holding down the soil. That is why LLW works to take care of the rivers as well as the trees since our environment depends on multiple factors to stay sustainable. West is influencing other schools to participate in becoming more environmentally friendly, and create clean healthy air.