39 New Trees Planted at Mount Pleasant Elementary School

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More than 100 children and adults volunteered in partnership with the school’s PTA and the Delaware Center for Horticulture

More than 40 children and 72 adults (parents, teachers, school administrators, and University of Delaware and Sierra Club volunteers) participated in a major tree planting event at Mount Pleasant Elementary School, 500 Duncan Road, Wilmington, on September 24.

The trees were made possible by a partnership between the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the Delaware Center for Horticulture (TheDCH). The PTA raised $1,200 to help water and care for the trees as they take root over the next few years. TheDCH provided additional funding, event coordination, training, tools and materials: trees, mulch, stakes, slow watering bags, etc.

Most of the 39 trees were large (10 – 15’ tall) and all are native species to Delaware, an assortment of American Elm and Oak, as well as flowering Serviceberry. The Mount Pleasant Elementary School campus borders Philadelphia Pike and currently has very little shade. The new trees have been installed along the busy road, around the perimeter of the soccer field, and along the back parking lot where more than 400 cars wait each afternoon to pick up children.

“We worked for a year on this dream to make our campus more beautiful and accessible to the kids with trees and a walking path,” said Dave Donohue, Mount Pleasant PTA member and event organizer. “The Delaware Center for Horticulture was absolutely instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. They provided an enormous amount of support and helped us select just the right native trees for our campus. Our whole school community came together on September 24 to dig holes, spread mulch and make it happen. We all had tremendous fun!”

In addition to TheDCH staff and arborists in attendance, the organization also sent their Return-to-Work crew. Return-to-Work is a green jobs program of TheDCH that trains ex-offenders for the landscaping industry. The five women in this fall’s class served as team leaders, coaching parents and children in proper tree planting techniques.

“It was a great pleasure to work with the Mt. Pleasant PTA and Brandywine School District,” said Jen Bruhler, TheDCH’s Assistant Director of Urban Forestry. “They are very committed to improving the school campus, and we are thrilled they chose to do so through trees! These trees will provide numerous benefits for both the students and the surrounding community in the years to come.”

This tree planting project was organized to coordinate with two other major initiatives:

 Moving Planet was a worldwide day of action on September 24 to move beyond fossil fuels. The Mount Pleasant School tree planting was one of over 2000 events in more than 175 countries. Learn more at http://www.moving-planet.org/

 Plant One Million is a new regional tree-planting campaign, encompassing 13 counties in Delaware, New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. Learn more at http://pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/plant-one-million

This project was funded in part through a grant from the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Special thanks to Sharp Top Trees, a nursery specializing in growing disease-resistant American Elms and promoting the return of this gracious tree. Sharp Top donated half of the cost of the 21 large Princeton American Elms that were planted at Mt Pleasant School. Learn more at http://princetonamericanelm.blogspot.com/