The day began with students donning plastic gloves and picking up trash in Fletcher Park.
Brigetta Hoeferle, director of Montessori, said she wanted the students to be able to pick up litter near a road. However, she could not get permission from the police for the project, so they recommended picking up trash at Fletcher Park.
Executive director for Trousdale, Shannon Clark, said the schools had been planning this Earth Day celebration for two months. Clark said she liked the idea of coming together to do something for the community.
After cleaning up the park, the schools went to the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, where they planted a tree together.
The Japanese Stewartia tree will have a plaque by it telling when it was planted by the schools. The plaque was not ready in time to be installed during the planting.
This year marks the third year Montessori Kinder has planted a tree on the Greenway. The kind of tree the school plants is determined by the location, Hoeferle said. The amount of shade and moisture near the tree is taken into account because not all trees respond to these conditions in the same way.
This is not the first time the schools have interacted. Two Trousdale students work at Montessori as part of Trousdale’s work program. This partnership was started two years ago. Clark said it has been good for the schools to work together as they grow.
There are also other connections between the schools. Clark said two of her children attend Montessori.
LeeAnna Lutz, primary lead teacher for Montessori, said the school places an emphasis on the environment teaching students why we need plants and trees. The school also reuses and recycles items to cut down on waste. A recycling program was also started at the school Thursday.
Lutz said Montessori is planning on including green elements in its new building in the Spring Creek Development.
The students held the Earth Day activities on Thursday because the schools are be closed on Friday (Earth Day is April 22 of each year).
The tree the students planted was donated by Varnell Nursery. Snacks were also provided to the students by BEST partner Abundant Living Organic Foods.