There were plenty of hands raised on the front lawn of Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts Friday morning when students were asked what trees do for us.
Food, oxygen, paper, lumber and shade were all among their good answers.
The Q & A was part of the city’s annual Arbor Day celebration, which rotates among Anoka’s elementary schools each year when a new tree is planted on school grounds.
This is Anoka’s 31st year being recognized as a Tree City USA, acknowledging the value the city places on trees, said Tom Redmann, sites and grounds supervisor for the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
“One of my favorite things is to take care of trees,” he said.
It was Lincoln’s turn this year, being the recipient of a new red splendor flowering crab tree for its front yard.
Redmann, who attended Lincoln Elementary as a child, said he can remember sitting out in the front lawn under the oak trees more than 50 years ago.
“Trees last a long, long time,” Redmann said to the students. “Maybe you’ll be able to come back here when you’re a grandma or a grandpa and see this tree.”
Kindergarten and third-grade students lent a hand to pack soil around the new tree, along with members from Anoka’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The flowering crab tree will bear tiny apples that hang on through the winter and will feed the birds in the spring.
They also learned about the value of having a variety of trees, including the oaks, maples and others already growing on Lincoln grounds.
“I see a lot of different kinds of students here today,” said Redmann. “Just like trees, it would be kind boring if we were all the same.”
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org