Arbor Day will be celebrated on Thursday, April 26 this year and more than 225 Fourth Graders in Oak Park and Melrose Park will roll up their sleeves and plant a tree. The kids will become members of Fourth Grade Foresters. The project’s goal is to help revitalize a remarkable idea–observation of Arbor Day in America’s schools. Fourth graders at the following schools will receive trees to take home and plant:

Alcuin Montessori, Ascension, First Circle, Intercultural Montessori, Sacred Heart in Melrose Park, St. Catherine-St. Lucy, St. Edmund and St. Giles.

Tina Gaddy, president of the Oak Park and River Forest Lions Club, who sponsored the trees said, “We’re delighted to be able to help teach young people about the importance of trees to the health and beauty of our environment. Our community is known for the variety and number of our trees and we are happy to add to this legacy.”

“This project is made possible because community groups like the Oak Park and River Forest Lions Club covered the cost of each of the individually packaged evergreen trees, so that there is no cost to the students, the teachers, the school, or the taxpayer,” Debra Ersch, Cofounder of the Fourth Grade Foresters Project stated. “It’s a wonderful way to show support for the community, education and the environment.”

Fourth Grade Foresters USA was created to provide a simple and inexpensive way for any individual, business or organization with to send the 4th Grade students at an elementary school home with a tree of their own to plant and care for. Each fourth grader receives an individually packaged 12”-18” evergreen tree seedling packaged by workers with disabilities.

Now tree planting is even more important than ever. Trees take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and clean the air we breathe. Planting trees is a simple, inexpensive and easy way to improve the community.

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