Tree Planting Day at Lincoln Park Elementary
We are very excited to announce that we hosted our own Tree Planting Day at Lincoln Park on Tuesday, April 5th during SUN extended-day program! These trees will not only provide ecological benefits for the area, but will create shade for the summer months to come. Our coordinator, Marc Czornij from the Bureau of Environmental Services, SUN students, and other planting volunteers all participated in the event.
Thirty students in 2nd-4th grade from the SUN garden club joined the event to help our tree planting team. Marc and a fellow experienced planter divided the kids into smaller groups and led a planting demonstration, then worked together to plant four trees on the south side of the building and three trees on the west side, near the fence. They planted two Cork Oaks, two Jefferson Elms, two Big Leaf Maples, and one Western Red Cedar (details on these trees below).
This project came to fruition when Marc, Ms. Amanda (Lincoln Park SUN), and Mrs. M (Lincoln Park school garden coordinator), met to discuss a separate project through the Bureau of Environmental Services. It was mentioned that the school would love to have more trees on its property, so Marc began researching if there were resources available through the Bureau of Environmental Services Tree Program. Luckily, there were! The group talked with Principal Chase along with the maintenance crew from the David Douglas School District, and a plan came together. We hope you enjoy the beauty, shade, and environmental friendliness of this tree-planting project!
Some organizations that helped make this event possible include the Bureau of Environmental Services Tree Program, Lincoln Park Elementary & the MFS SUN Program, David Douglas School District, Confluence Environmental Center AmeriCorps Program, Friends of Trees, and Treecology.
We even got a shout-out from Marc when he spoke at a city council meeting 😉
Tree Profiles by Marc Czornij
The Cork Oak is a broadleaf evergreen that grows to 65’. It is native to North Africa and Spain. It is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses, such as cork flooring (Wikipedia). The bark can be harvested every 9-12 years and does not harm the tree—cork trees are not cut down for this use. We liked this tree because it will provide year-round ecological benefits as it does not lose its leaves (more broadleaf trees should be a focus in Portland!). Also, like all of the trees we selected—and all trees in general, perhaps—it comes with a story and background that can be used in LP’s curriculum & activities.
Jefferson Elm—This tree is Dutch Elm Disease-resistant! Dark green leaves emerge earlier in spring and are retained later in fall than the typical American elm. Along with the Western Red Cedar and Big Leaf Maples, we planted these along the south-facing classrooms to provide much-needed shade in the summer.
The Western Red Cedar is a Pacific Northwest native that is deeply important to the area’s indigenous tribes; they used its decay-resistant wood to make items like canoes, homes, arrow shafts and fuel, and the soft bark for baskets, ropes, mats and diapers! A strong and lovely conifer.
The Big Leaf Maple is native to the Pacific coast and will be great for shading the south-facing classrooms in the summer. Syrup can be made from its sap, but it’s not very common as the Sugar Maple species has a higher sugar content (imagine that!). Its wood is used for many applications, including furniture and instruments.