OTTAWA — Fourth grade students at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic School and Ottawa Elementary celebrated Arbor Day Friday by planting trees at their schools.
The event was organized by the Village of Ottawa’s Shade Tree Commission in partnership with Putnam Soil & Water Conservation District.
A ginkgo tree was planted at SS. Peter and Paul and a zelkova tree was planted at Ottawa Elementary, according to Lori Moenter, Shade Tree Commission secretary. The commission purchased the trees from Beining Nursery, Ottoville.
Ottawa has been a Tree City USA for more than 30 years in collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation and has met criteria including having an Arbor Day observance, establishing a tree commission and promoting the planting of trees.
A poster contest was held where students could draw and color a poster that celebrated trees. Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer presented a plaque to the two winners, Karlee Maag, SS. Peter and Paul student, and Griffin Kottenbrock, Ottawa Elementary student. There were 82 entries submitted and the Shade Tree Committee selected the two winners.
“We are a Tree City, and we care about our aesthetics. There are endless benefits to having trees,” Meyer said.
Maag drew a photo of a tree with words that said “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Let’s Grow Lots and Lots of Trees Because They Are Good For You.”
“I made tree leaves out of green construction paper for my project. Trees give us lots of oxygen, and if we didn’t have trees we might not be here,” Maag said.
Kottenbrock drew a photo of a tree house with him lying on a hammock underneath with the words “Trees Provide Shade and Food and Homes For Animals.”
“It was really fun making the drawing and learning about trees,” Kottenbrock said.
Kelly Morman, SS. Peter and Paul fourth grade teacher, said she has taught the students in her classroom about how Earth Day and Arbor Day coincide.
“We talk about the importance if a tree is cut town it is important to plan another tree to take care of us to keep our Earth healthy and safe,” Morman said.
Nicole Ruhe, Ottawa Elementary fourth grade teacher, teaches students about trees being natural resources and things that come from trees.
“We live in such a rural community and they have an opportunity to go home and plant these trees and make a difference,” Ruhe said. The school has a garden they plan to plant in May.
At the end of the tree plantings, students were presented with Colorado blue spruce seedlings donated by Putnam Soil & Water Conservation District they could take home and plant.