Apparently when local governments, businesses and community organizations work together with schools, then good ideas grow into positive realities for kids.
In the case of Trafalgar Middle School, an idea for improving the outdoor environment for the now younger student population has resulted in more than 80 large native trees being planted on school grounds.
“The trees will provide much needed shade and they create inviting spaces for the students to gather,” said parent volunteer Cathy Scott-May. “The trees have been planted in groupings that reflect the various forest ecosystems found in our region so they also create an outdoor classroom.”
Local foresters, ecologists and landscape architect, Eric Clough, worked with the school community to plan the project.
Political leadership and support came from Directors Ron Mickel and Ramona Faust of the Regional District of Central Kootenay, who contributed significant funding to the project.
Other sources of funding included the Columbia Basin Trust, Nelson and District Credit Union, Nelson Rotary, and TD Friends of the Environment.
The list of local businesses who contributed is impressive. Overland West Freight Lines provided thousands of dollars worth of trucking services, with Randy’s Backhoe Service and Al Craft unloading the trees on arrival.
The Nelson and District Riding Club donated manure to improve the soil, which was loaded by Paul Rasmussen. Hardial Bhabra and McNally Excavating donated use of their dump trucks to move materials.
Mike Truscott of Arrow Professional Landscaping donated a portion of his professional services and Kalesnikoff Lumber donated and delivered the bark mulch used to protect the tree roots. Nelson Farmers Supply gave a discount on landscaping materials.
The Blewett Volunteer Fire Department literally came to the rescue when the project needed someone with a truck to supply water for saturating the trees as they were planted.
“Apparently it takes a community to plant a forest,” said Scott-May. “Local foresters, parent volunteers, members of the Nelson Lions Club and Mt Sentinel Summit Academy students all worked along side Trafalgar students to get the trees in the ground.”
The next phase involves placing benches around the school grounds. Nelson Ready Mix has been making concrete bench ends with left over cement. Home Hardware Building Centre has used its crane truck to transport the bench ends.
Maglio Building Centre has donated some of the lumber and stain that students will use to complete the benches.
“We greatly appreciate all the community support for this project,” said Scott-May. “I hope that those who have contributed realize the important impact they have made on the lives of not only the current 450 students, but for local youth for years to come.”
Cathy Scott-May is with the Trafalgar School Parent Advisory Committee.