Students plant trees now for kids to enjoy in the futureOct 04, 2021 10:23AM ● By Becky Ginos
Preschooler Abigail Silas (left) stands back as a volunteer from Chevron dumps out fresh bark. Meadowbrook sixth grader Vivian Wilcox spreads the bark around the tree she helped plant.
BOUNTIFUL—Kids at Meadowbrook Elementary were getting down and dirty last week planting trees around the fence line of the school. Members of the student council and multicultural club joined volunteers from Chevron, Tree Utah and the Davis Education Foundation to plant about 50 trees as part of an outdoor learning space.
“A couple of months ago we were approached by Tree Utah to come and plant one to 10 trees,” said Meadowbrook Principal Ryan Van Natter. “John Swain (District Environmental Maintenance Services Director) thought of Meadowbrook. We’ve lost a lot of trees that have been dying along the fence line. The new trees will provide shade around the play areas in five to 10 years from now for our kids.”
Van Natter said he remembers growing up there was a big apple tree in his yard. “It was fun to climb so when I grew up and moved into my own home we planted a tree. Grass is great but a tree provides shade. These trees will make a pretty frame around the picture.”
Chevron partnered with Tree Utah on the project. “We always look forward to ways we can give back,” said Kristina Brown, Corporate Affairs Representative at Chevron Refinery. “All the stars aligned to do this. The parents and community members are committed to students in Davis County. It’s so much fun to plant trees and do something for the environment.”
The multicultural club is new to the school, Brown said. “It’s a grant program that we launched with the Davis Education Foundation. Diversity and inclusion are at the core of Chevron’s mission. We want to make sure everyone has a seat at the table.”
Planting the trees brought Jake Barlow, Chevron Emergency Services Lead, full circle. Barlow attended Meadowbrook as a child. “It’s great to come and volunteer here and give back to the community in this way,” he said. “There were bigger trees along the fence and there used to be a creek. It used to all be a field and blacktop where the portable buildings are now. There was a hill that we used to sled on in the wintertime.”
It’s definitely been a great opportunity to volunteer and see what the kids have done, said Barlow. “They’ll always see that tree and know they planted it.”
Students were encouraged to name the trees as well. “The kids named one of the trees (Superintendent) Reid Newey because it’s so tall,” said Dan Pratt, President of the Davis Education Foundation Board of Directors. “We told the kids that when they’re in high school the trees will be big enough to climb. It’s definitely making a difference for the future.”
Van Natter said they invited parents and grandparents to help and 50 to 60 kids got to be a part of it. “They were looking forward to it and they were so excited. They loved it and wanted more.”