NAVFAC Marianas plants trees with sister school

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English as a Second Language teacher Grace Claros instructs a pair of students during a special tree-planting lesson in collaboration with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas at Harry S. Truman Elementary School in Santa Rita Nov. 16. U.S. Navy photo by Shaina Marie Santos/Released
English as a Second Language teacher Grace Claros instructs a pair of students during a special tree-planting lesson in collaboration with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas at Harry S. Truman Elementary School in Santa Rita Nov. 16. U.S. Navy photo by Shaina Marie Santos/Released

NAVFAC Marianas plants trees with sister school

by: Shaina Marie Santos | .
Joint Region Edge Staff | .
published: November 24, 2012

Students from Harry S. Truman Elementary School learned proper planting procedures during a tree-planting at the school in Santa Rita Nov. 16.

The project, hosted by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas, gave students the opportunity to add fresh young trees to their school and learn more about the environment.
NAVFAC Marianas Natural Resources Program Manager Gretchen Grimm said the planting was in accordance with an annual Department of Defense grant which NAVFAC Marianas won for National Lands Day with the National Environmental Education Foundation.

“Harry S. Truman Elementary School is NAVFAC Marianas’ sister community school and we do some outreach work with them, so I thought this would be a great reconnect with these guys,” she said.

Students planted a number of native trees, from Thespesia populnea or lantern tree, Ochrosia mariannesis or lipstick tree and Scaevola taccada or half-flower tree.

“Part of the grant requirements were to plant native trees,” Grimm said. “Guam has been very impacted by the war and community growth. There are a lot of non-native trees around. So the native trees provide a connect, kind of like a bridge from places where there are some trees to places where there aren’t any like this playground.”

English as a Second Language teacher Grace Claros said she was thankful for the opportunity to give the students the hands-on experience they can enjoy.

“It’s really exciting,” she said. “We want to try to be more environmentally friendly and this is a great way to get them exposed to getting their hands dirty and putting some hard work and effort into making the world better.”

“Trees provide many services to the environment,” Grimm said. “(This) gives the kids some hands on experience so now…they’re committed to these trees. They will be able to watch them grow, they’ll have a sense of pride that they actually contributed to the environment.”

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