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October 14, 2012
Shelby Yates - G-R student , Reinbeck Courier

On Saturday, October 5th, three Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School students, accompanied by their science teacher, Mr. Tom Boheman, made the short jaunt over to Union Grove State Park, located just five miles out from Gladbrook. Since the fall season has come at full swing, it's the perfect time to plant trees! That's just why the Renovation club at G-R wanted to help out.

It is an important part of what Renovation does to take part in planting trees at Union Grove State Park every spring and fall. After 2011's terrible windstorm left pile-high levels of debris, it's become more important than ever to restore tree life at the park. That's why, with the financial support of $10,000 from anonymous donations, and Alliant Energy's match-price, Trees Forever organization can afford to plant dozens of trees over the course of the next couple years. On this particular day, the gathered volunteers planted 20 trees.

The students, senior Abbie Walton, junior Shelby Yates, and freshmen Brittany Yates, along side their teacher, traveled throughout the campgrounds, planting five trees within an hour and a half. It's no small effort to put those fresh roots in the ground.

"I figured it'd be like the soft soil, but it's very hard! You've got to put some back work into it," says Abbie Walton. The group shoveled almost as much clay, gravel rock, and cement as they did soil!

Through all the hard work, the payoff will be huge!

"They can come back in fifty years and look at the trees they planted and remember what they did in high school and know they made a difference," Tom Boheman explains. "They're making a difference by helping replace what was once here." It's true that the memories of planting these trees will carry on forever, and these trees will grow to give shade and be part of future generations' memories.

"It's amazing to think about how our trees will, hundreds of years from now, be as big and beautiful as the trees covering this park now!" Shelby Yates mentions.

But for now, Brittany Yates just focuses on the experience she's having now. "It's a lot of fun to plant trees...all kinds of different trees!" Through the battling cold, and tough ground, planting the trees was a great time! The Renovation Club looks forward to attending the Trees Forever planting event in the spring, and hope to have even more students breaking soil!



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