Towamensing Elementary students receive free trees
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Kristi and Matt George, owners of Hickory Valley Farms, donated 420 balsam fir seedlings to the students at Towamensing Elementary School in recognition of Arbor Day. Their son, Mason, right, hands one of the seedlings to Eli Miller, a classmate in his kindergarten class.
Matt George of Lehighton, remembers when he was in school, he got a seedling to plant every year on Arbor Day. It always made him feel good to be able to plant a tree to help the planet.
Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, a respected agriculturist, and the third United States Secretary of Agriculture, who helped President Glover Cleveland set up national forest reservations. Today Arbor Day is set aside to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
"I learned that the Towamensing Elementary School students no longer got free trees to give to the students. Since our son, Mason, goes to kindergarten here and my wife and I own Hickory Valley Farms, we decided to donate seedlings to all the kids on Arbor Day," says George.
So last Friday, Matt, his wife Kristie, along with volunteers, handed all 420 students at Towamensing a balsam fir seedling, with instructions how to plant it. George picked up the seedlings at Pike's Peak Nursery in Indiana, Pa.
"It makes me feel good to be able to do this," George says.
He plans to make it an annual event.