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Monday, May 2, 2016

GHS gives away trees as part of the One Book project

Monday, April 6, 2009

GHS Environmental Club members Ashley Holmes, Cheyanne Maddox and Alan Peck work with sponsors John Garner and Khristen Phillips preparing to give away trees.
Putnam County got a little greener Saturday morning as people lined up in the Greencastle High School parking lot to pick up free trees to plant.

GHS, the Environmental Club and Pike Lumber Company sponsored the 1,000-tree giveaway that included White Oak, Norway Spruce, White Pine, Redbud and Flowering Dogwood trees.

The project was part of GHS's "One School, One Book" program. Earlier in the year, students read "From the Bottom Up: One Man's Crusade to Clean America's Rivers" by Chad Pregracke.

The book is a biography of the author who at age 17 decided the Mississippi River was dirty and needed a cleanup. Reading the book inspired the Environmental Club to take part in a cleanup of Walnut Creek last year. The tree giveaway was an additional environmental project.

Trees were given away five to a person Saturday until all were gone. Planting instructions were provided with the trees.

"The state of Indiana has a seedling project and the United Nations has had a one billion trees planted project," explained science teacher and club sponsor John Garner. "We try to think of different things we could do to be environmentally friendly."

The Billion Tree Campaign, spearheaded by UNEP, was unveiled in 2006 as a response to the threat as well as the opportunities of global warming.

The campaign, which is under the patronage of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Kenyan Green Belt Movement founder Professor Wangari Maathai and His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, has set a new ambitious target of seven billion trees to be planted by the climate change conference that will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009.

Garner and fellow teacher and club sponsor Khristen Phillips were on hand with Environmental Club members Cheyanne Maddox, Kim Piper, Ashley Holmes and Adam Peck who were passing out the trees.

Garner also had samples of environmentally friendly rain barrels and composters from the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). They were on display along with information about how to use them and where to get them.

The Putnam County SWCD was awarded a grant from Clean Water Indiana to reduce and reuse the amount of water/sediment that is finding its way into storm drains and watercourses, and the amount of yard waste and kitchen refuse entering landfills. They are part of a cost-share program and available from SWCD.

According to Sue Crafton at the SWCD, rain barrels and composting benefit people because they get something free without much effort.

"The rain barrels are recycled food quality containers. These can save on your water bills, keep your gardens thriving and reduce stress on water systems," she said in the information flyer passed out with the barrels.

She noted, "residential irrigation can account for almost 60 percent of all domestic water consumption."

A 60-gallon barrel can fill in as little as a quarter inch of rain. The cost-share price for the barrels is $50.

SWCD is also offering an envirocycle composter specifically designed to simplify recycling kitchen and garden refuse. It produces fully decomposed compost in about four to six weeks depending on temperatures and can be used for flower and vegetable gardens, house plants, trees or your yard.

They are available at the cost-share price of $75.

The SWCD will be taking orders for rain barrels and composters until April 9. Call them at 653-7454 or stop by their office in the USDA Service Center at 1007 Mill Pond Lane, Suite C, Greencastle.

For information about the high school's Environmental Club contact Garner at Greencastle High School.

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