Growing together: How an elementary school’s tree-planting program will make a difference in Nashville

Author: Darby McCarthy
Source: Visit Site
Growing together: How an elementary school’s tree-planting program will make a difference in Nashville

Just in time to be a President’s Day gift, Inglewood Elementary School got a new batch of free trees thanks to a partnership with Metro Water Services.

In preparation for the big arrival, students at IES spent months learning about trees. Teachers also partnered with Friends of Shelby to work tree-planting into their curriculum.

Friends of Shelby provided classrooms with GIS mapping technology, and students collaboratively researched the needs of the trees that were chosen to be planted.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity. Our fifth-grade students got to research the needs of trees and figure out where they would thrive on our campus, and then they were actually able to send a draft of a planting plan to Metro Water, and so, it was a really cool, real-world, authentic opportunity to use what they were learning and actually do something for their community,” said Rachel Pruett, a teacher at Inglewood.

Students not only researched the best spots around the school for the new trees but also how to best take care of them.

“I am particularly thankful for my project partners at this school who have helped bring tree-planting into the classroom and involved the students in this project,” said Sarah Welz, the urban forestry project manager at Metro Water Services.

“Hopefully it’ll give them a sense of pride in their community and their school, and knowledge that they were able to help the Root Nashville mission,” Pruett said.

Trees are crucial municipal infrastructure; they cool our city, capture our rainwater, and reduce erosion. They can also be a point of pride for a school or neighborhood.

The trees planned and planted by Inglewood students will serve the school, community, and city of Nashville for many years to come.

“It is with great pleasure that we break ground at Inglewood Elementary School today. And I am happy to announce that after today, Metro Water Services will have planted 900 trees in Nashville this season alone,” Welz said. “These trees all contribute to Root Nashville and the mission to plant 500,000 trees in Nashville and Davidson County by 2050.”

To ensure the long-term health of the trees, the school partnered with the Cumberland River Compact, which will provide two years of watering, mulching, and structural pruning.

“It felt good to plant a tree. You know, there’s so much happening with trees in Nashville — and we just passed a tree bill, and I’m really excited about that — so, we need to do more, and this is an awesome couple of organizations,” said District 7 Council Member Emily Benedict.