Lilac planted, TP tubes collected in Earth Week/Arbor Day challenge

Students take turns helping to plant a lilac sapling Friday in Wiese Park as part of the annual Arbor Day celebrations in Perry.

Perry’s tireless goodwill ambassador Larry Vodenik joined city employees Brian Eiteman and John Anderson Friday afternoon along with a gang of students from the Perry Elementary School and the St. Patrick Catholic School to mark the 51st observance of National Arbor Day by planting a lilac sapling in Wiese Park.

Perry Elementary School Principal Dr. Ryan Marzen also reported the results of the Earth Week/Arbor Day challenge, with a schoolwide collection of 14,198 toilet paper tubes. Cynthia Miner’s fifth grade class led the way, collecting 2,695 toilet paper tubes, and their reward will be a pizza party courtesy of the Perry Hy-Vee.

“I want to thank everyone who participated!” Marzen said. “Thank you very much for the fun.”

Perry Public Works employee Brian Eiteman explained to the students the importance of recycling in the city of Perry’s system of managing solid waste. He said toilet paper tubes a one example of recyclable items.

Perry Parks and Recreation Director John Anderson explained to the students the importance of trees and bushes, such as lilacs, within the city’s environmental management plan.

Vodenik said he chose the lilac because his beloved wife Josefine was partial to them. Josefine Vodenik died in 2021.

“This is another great lesson for the students in ecology and community service,” Marzen said.


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