GARWOOD, NJ – When most kids think about preparations for Halloween, they think costume, loot bags, candy and spooky fun.   When second-grader Ryan Benoit was getting ready for this year’s festivities he was thinking, saplings, soil, pots and climate.    Hence Benoit’s decision to give out baby trees to trick-or-treaters during the Trunk-or Treat held at the Garwood Knights of Columbus.

Benoit’s mother Maria said he has had a love of science for as long as she can remember.  She said when he was little, Benoit  became concerned about the environment.  According to Maria Benoit, her son has asked lots of questions throughout his young years and really understands the causes of climate change.   

 “His favorite book since he was four is a book about natural disasters that touches on how climate change increases these events,” said Maria Benoit. 

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To prepare for the big day, Benoit with an assist from his mom, ordered 100 bare root trees from the internet which he planted in small containers to give out to trick or treaters. Planting is not foreign to Benoit who has been trying to grow things since he was little. 

“Ryan loves all plants but especially trees because they grow so big and they take the bad air out,” said Maria Benoit.  “He has always collected seeds outside to try to grow them.”

She said Benoit has maples seeds in the refrigerator now to trick them into thinking its winter so they will sprout when they come out in a few weeks. He also has acorns in containers that are on their way to sprouting too.

 Maria Benoit said he hopes to be able to grow some trees by the time the Garwood Rocks event rolls around next spring.  She says her son is excited about continuing his work and feels like he is helping the environment by getting folks to plant trees.  

She is not surprised by Benoit’s attempt to take on fixing the environment and to make things better.  Maria Benoit describes Ryan as being the type of kid that wears his heart on his sleeve and cannot help but worry and feel for others. 

Benoit hopes to be a chemist and fight climate change through his work one day. In the meantime, he vows to keep growing and distributing trees.  For now, he will rely on occasional support from his mom, but who knows what the future brings for his baby sister Lucinda when she is old enough to join him. 


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