Parkland 1st Grade Tree Seedling Distribution

About this activity:

Each April club members meet to wrap seedlings for all of Parkland School District’s 1st graders.  The same week, in celebration of Earth and Arbor Day, members deliver these seedlings to the elementary schools.  They also provide a program on the importance of conservation and tree care (including a demonstration on how to plant tree seedlings) to help instill a love of gardening and care for the environment. 

From PGC Past President Barbara Campbell:

Parkland Garden Club Celebrates Arbor Day.

The Parkland Garden Club since the 1960’s has been providing evergreen seedlings to every first grade student in the Parkland School District.  This year the club wrapped and prepared 825 white pine seedlings to be distributed to the nine elementary schools in Parkland.  Nineteen members of the club were involved with wrapping the seedlings in newspaper and placing them in a plastic bag and/or going to the Elementary Schools where they gave a demonstration and talk about the importance of planting  trees for the conservation of our environment.  Members met at President Claire and Beau Kukielka’s home on May 10 to do the preparation of the seedlings. Members went to schools on May 11th or 12th. The white pine seedlings are a favorite to plant for restoring forests because they are deer resistant.  The seedlings come from the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

It is very rewarding when people share how the tree they received as a first grader is still growing in their parent’s yard. Part of the Parkland Garden Club’s mission statement is the conservation of trees. Debbie Barhight, our conservation chairman, has been coordinating this project since 2000.

The first Arbor Day started with James Sterling Morton who moved from Long Island to Nebraska where there were no trees.  He missed trees so he started planting trees with the help of school children who gave their pennies.  President Richard Nixon in 1970 recognized Arbor Day nationwide and it is always the fourth Friday of April. The original date was on April 22 on James Sterling Morton’s birthday.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a supporter for the conservation movement, said to school children, “Celebrate your Arbor Day thoughtfully, for within your life times the nation’s need of trees will become serious.”    This message is still appropriate today.

May 2023 Seedling Processing

On May 3, 2023 a group of Parkland Garden Club Members met at president Claire Kukielka's house for the annual tradition of wrapping White Pine seedlings. With the hard work, dedication and direction of committee Chair Deb Barhight, the team processed over 800 seedlings and then delivered them to the first graders in the Parkland School District. The students were instructed how to plant the tiny trees and why we must care for our environment. Members also enjoyed a wonderful luncheon courtesy of president Claire after the busy morning. 

April 2022 Seedling Processing

This year we actually celebrate 60 years of our conservation tree project with the Parkland first graders! That is quite a wonderful legacy! Thanks to all who have given their time and efforts over these many years to keep it going. A giant thank you goes out to the 12 garden club members who worked together on April 27, 2022 to process 800 white spruce seedlings that were distributed to the 1st graders in Parkland School District to celebrate Arbor Day!