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CATA students plant trees

Lara Beegle, (bending at left), co owner of Image Design Landscape in Marshville, and one of her crewmembers, (shoveling at right), Tony Davis, help students from Central Academy of Technology and Arts plant trees on the school campus in honor or Earth Day last week. Also pictured, center, is parent volunteer, Luisa Morrone from Weddington.

One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 16 people. One tree can provide a day's oxygen for as many as four people. A tropical tree can live for more than 50 human generations.
These are just some of the reasons that one Earth Science teacher Central Academy of Technology and Arts decided to plant trees at her school to honor Earth Day last week.
CATA teacher Kortney Kopchick and about 75 of her students planted trees around the school campus during her three classes, with the help of local landscaping company, Image Landscape and Design. Image Landscape, as well as other local companies, donated the trees.
“I’m from Washington, D.C. so Earth Day is a big deal,” said Matthew Jefferson, owner of Image Design and Landscape from Marshville. “I’m glad that this class is celebrating it. That’s how you celebrate Earth Day; you plant things.”
Jefferson donated Yoshino Cherry trees and Lilac bushes and helped students plant larger October Glory Maples and Lace Leaf Elms donated by Will Simpson’s Landscaping in Hemby Bridge. Jefferson brought his crew, Lara Beegle, his partner at Image Design Landscape, and his brother/coworker John Rostad and crewmember Tony Davis.
Kopchick chose this project so students could not only get hands-on experience planting trees, but would also learn something they could do at home to improve the planet.
“I keep telling them, it’s up to them. It’s going to be their future and they really need to put the effort into learning this stuff now.”
She said she felt it particularly important students get hands-on experience planting trees. “Everyone wants to know what they can do for the planet. Planting a tree is the one of the most fun things you can do at a school and we were lucky enough to have them donated.”
CATA sophomore Janea Brown, 16, documented the event for her school’s yearbook. “Since we’re losing so many trees through growth and development, it’s important that we try to put some back,” Brown said. “Maybe if we start planting trees now, and try to do something small, hopefully other people will catch on and start doing it also.”
Even some parent volunteers got into the action. Luisa and Joe Morrone from Weddington have a daughter, Victoria, 14, who is a freshman at CATA. “It’s important for society to realize that if we don’t start planting trees, and just keep tearing them down as we’ve seen for the past 11 years in the Weddington area, our environment and our air quality are suffering,” said Luisa Morrone. “Our animals have no natural habitat. We can save on energy if we have trees planted around our home, because they can generate shade.”
Planting trees was only a part of Kopchick’s Earth Science class. Each student did a lesson for the class on alternative resources, solar power, nuclear energy and wave or tidal power, offering the pros and cons for both.
The entire school community at CATA got into the spirit of honoring the environment; from the library, to the cafeteria. “The cafeteria did an environmentally-friendly meal,” Kopchick said.
“They had veggie pizza, veggie sub, salad, and promoted the Farm to School program, which buys local produce for the students to eat. Foreign language classes did all Earth Day posters with recycled materials. English did a big Earth Day project with poems and research on Earth Day.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: May 07, 2008 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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