WEST ORANGE, NJ - Friday, April 26, 2013, was proclaimed Arbor Day in West Orange by Mayor Robert Parisi, and a Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia) tree was planted at Redwood School. Principal Barbara Kivlon shared the famous poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer as school and township officials, members of the Energy Commission, and Third grade "Green Team" teachers and students looked on.
by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Interim School Superintendent James O'Neill spoke to the students and encouraged the "Green Team" third graders and their teachers, Mrs. Rella and Mrs. Martino, to keep up their efforts at Redwood. The school has already planted a garden and will be receiving cabbage plants to add to the garden.
Town Forester John Linson read Mayor Parisi's Arbor Day Proclamation, which also encouraged the township to "plant trees." The town recently received its Sustainable Jersey Bronze Certification and was named one of Tree City USA's towns for the 17th year in a row. Linson also distributed blue spruce seedlings, along with Nick Salese of the West Orange DPW, to the third graders to plant at home and presented the school with a Tree City USA flag.
Susan MCartney led students in a pledge to "promise to recycle, whenever I can and wherever I can; to help the earth clean, and save trees." She then introduced the Mayor and Mike Brick from the West Orange Energy Commission, who received the "Heart of Green" award from the Mayor. Brick spoke to students about the newly planted tree, describing how its tiny cones would fall to ground, but that fire was required to open them and spread the seeds. Because the tree is deciduous, the needles will fall off in the fall and come back in the spring. He also gifted Redwood School with copies of Kilmer's poem for each class, a DVD about Redwoods, and a National Geographic Issue about the Sequoia redwoods in California.
Students then placed dirt around the tree.
Parisi, McCartney, O'Neill, Linson, Brick and the staff at Redwood staff and students posed for photos as the seedlings were distributed to students.