St. Joseph’s Students Give Back

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The City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department and St. Joseph’s Catholic School spent the day at Johnson Creek in Arlington’s Entertainment District planting trees in support of the City’s commitment to the environment. More than 90 student volunteers and parents helped plant 400 trees in Richard Greene and Dr Robert Cluck Linear Parks.

The school’s effort was a result of the “Faith Extension Day” program at St Joseph’s which is designed to teach students the value of giving back to the community. A total of 740 individuals planted trees at 12 sites across the Metroplex, totaling nearly 2,900 service hours. Volunteers included students, teachers, staff, parents grandparents, friends and even a few SJCS alumni.

“The Johnson Creek Restoration Tree Planting was a great success thanks to the parents, teachers, and children who came out and tackled this huge project with smiles on their faces and shovels in their hands. They worked all day and planted 400 trees,” APRD Urban Forest and Land Manager Heather Dowell said. “This project is important to the City of Arlington; it provides habitat for the wildlife, helps reduce our storm water run-off, cleans our air and helps prevent soil erosion in this flood control area.”

The tree planting event was a part of an environmental program in cooperation with the NCAA Final Four’s green initiative. The City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department has vowed to plant more than 1,000 trees throughout the community in celebration of Arlington hosting the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Final Four tournament. A portion of the trees (200) were given away through the LEAF program. Median trees, which are being planted in Southwest Arlington, are a part of Phase II of the ReLEAF program which works to replace trees destroyed during the tornadoes of 2012.

“Children learned many valuable lessons during this project. They learned what it means to give back, how important trees are, teamwork and how hard our soil is in North Texas,” Dowell said. “Most of all they may have left with some blisters on their hands but they left behind a legacy for future generations to enjoy and gain the environmental benefit from. A legacy they can return year after year and see the progress. That is a lesson you don’t learn in class.”

Arlington is committed to planting 30,000 trees by 2021. To date, approximately 10,000 trees have been planted throughout the City of Arlington due to this initiative.

To contact the Arlington Forestry and Beautification Division, please visit to www.naturallyfun.org/contacts/forestry-beautification!