Perry Hy-Vee Store Director Matt May and Event Coordinator Larry Vodenik visited St. Patrick’s Catholic School and the Perry Elementary School Friday afternoon to distribute nearly 200 tree saplings to a crowd of excited students.
St. Patrick’s students in grades K-8, as well as the youngsters at the Gingerbread House Preschool, were the first to be given the young shoots, with St. Patrick’s principal Doug Latham helping distribute the birch, silver maple and red maple saplings.
Students at both schools were asked to have their parent help them plant the new tree on their property in celebration of Earth Day and the upcoming Arbor Day, April 29. Those students who live in an apartment or trailer or who for whatever reason could not plant the tree themselves were asked to donate their tree to the City of Perry, who will place in the young plants in a nursery area set aside at the Brownfields. Once of appropriate size, they will be transplanted across the city.
The goal, Vodenik said, was to “help replace some of the trees we have lost over the years to Dutch Elm disease, the Ash Borer and various storms.”
Students at Perry Elementary who responded to a letter sent home with all members of the student body were presented saplings with help from Assistant Principal Joel Martin and Dean of Students Ned Menke, with John Anderson and Becky Towers from Perry Parks and Recreation also on hand.
“The kids have been excited about this day,” Martin said. “They like to have projects to do, and this is something they can share with their parents.”