Arbor Day Program at McAllister

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Photo by Lester Smith

McAlister student Niyah Hardy checks the planting and care instruction sheet she was given as Sharen Lingenfelter pulls out another sheet for Jacob Vincent. Rita Chmura, far right, waits for her time to step in with more sheets for planting the decorative Stewartia trees the students were given. The Suffield Garden Club’s annual Arbor Day tree hand-out resumed on April 21 after the COVID pandemic blocked it last year.

It is with pleasure that the Suffield Garden Club collaborates with fourth grade classes at McAlister School in presenting an Arbor Day Program. For 56 years, fourth graders have participated actively in the program, reciting poems, stories and songs about Arbor Day. Students wait anxiously to receive the specially chosen tree saplings to plant in their own yards.

A big disappointment occurred during last school year, 2020, when the pandemic prevented the Garden Club and McAlister School from having the yearly program. However, due to the generosity of Bartlett Tree Experts in Simsbury, Connecticut, we were able to provide trees to both 4th and 5th graders at McAlister School this year. The students received Stewartia trees, which are known for their beautiful Camilia-like flowers in the spring and very colorful leaves in the fall.

The Arbor Day Program at McAlister School sets the stage for students to learn about the history of Arbor Day, and also an experience in planting a tree and observing its growth.

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