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Manotick students plant 200 trees for the future

Students in environmental clubs at two elementary schools in Manotick raised their green thumbs together to plant hundreds of trees in an effort for a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

Myla Cahill is shovelling away, digging down for what matters most. 

“Planting trees gives the world oxygen,” says Myla, a Grade 5 student at Manotick Public School. "We’re in the environmental club and we learn about the environment and how to help it."

But planting 200 trees at Hilltop Park is a big task, so her school’s club of 21 students has joined shovels with neighbouring St. Leonard Catholic School and its environmental club, to make the biggest, greenest impact possible.

"We don’t get to see the other school that often so it’s really fun to do a project together," says Maggie King, a student at St. Leonard. "We get to help out the community near our school with all of our friends and really spread the awareness of how we can help our environment."

Liz LeCain, a teacher at Manotick Public School and leader of the environmental club, along with her counterpart at St. Leonard, Jennifer Perrier, enjoy the opportunity for the students to connect in the community.

"The kids we’re super excited," says Perrier. "And it gave them an opportunity to collaborate with them on things they can do to help the environment."

LeCain adds the event provides an opportunity for kids to make a physical impact on the world.

"They’re going to be able to walk by here for years to come, watch trees grow and see the difference that they made," LeCain says, "They all got their hands dirty, feeling the rocks, seeing the earthworms,  getting their feet dirty and to just connect with the earth is such a wonderful thing for them."

The tree planting initiative was through the Manotick Culture, Parks and Recreation Association.

"We’ve been in to the schools talking a little bit about why trees are valuable and important to our climate," says Tom Plant with MCPRA. "Providing opportunity is really essential for young people."

The trees are provided by the city of Ottawa, as part of its community initiative with organizations, businesses, faith-based groups and community associations, who want to provide small planting projects. City staff help to run eight to ten events each year.

"In addition to getting folks out and partnering with the community, this moves all of our city plans for climate change and action and greening the city forward," Coun. Dave Brown said. "When you bring all of these folks together to plant trees in a community park it’s a good day."

And for St. Leonard student Dan Coleman, as he puts trees in the ground, planted is a seed of thought for his generation and beyond.

"To help the environment," Dan says. "Every tree does matter because the more trees, the more oxygen, the less CO2 and if there is less CO2 then the world can survive." Top Stories

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