2019 was the inaugural year for Edmond Tree Grants, a program which provides trees for K-12 public schools and neighborhood groups within Edmond City Limits. While programs like Foster-A-Tree have offered trees within residential areas, Edmond Tree Grants is unique in that the trees may be planted outside of the public right-of-way on school grounds or within a neighborhood’s platted common areas. Furthermore, Edmond Tree Grants builds community by engaging neighbors or school community members in a tree planting event. The first year of the program resulted in three planting projects, which included two elementary schools and one neighborhood. See below for information about these projects. If you are interested in applying for Edmond Tree Grants, the 2020 application deadline is on February 6th. Learn more about the program and submit your application at Edmond Tree Grants.
Chisholm Elementary School
On a sunny, weekday morning, students at Chisholm Elementary gathered for an outdoor assembly where Principal Thomas Higdon described the many ways that trees enhance the school’s environment. Seven new trees framed the school grounds around the playgrounds and lining the walking trail that morning, planted by parents from Chisholm’s Parent Teacher Organization the day before. Concluding the assembly, several students and school staff backfilled a final ceremonial tree together, with assistance from Urban Forestry. In total, eight trees in 15 gallon containers were planted as part of this project to provide shade for play areas and buffer along the perimeter of the school yard.
Hampden Hollow HOA
Hampden Hollow HOA engaged their neighborhood community in a tree grant project by hosting a “tree planting party” in the neighborhood park. Families gathered around the pool clubhouse and playground for hot dogs, visiting with local fire fighters and enjoying treats from a sno-cone truck after planting eight shade trees to enhance their common area. The 15 gallon trees were placed along the street adjacent to the neighborhood detention area, around the playground, and to provide screening for the swimming pool. This group incorporated an additional project of replenishing mulch within the play area and landscape beds into their event as well. A combination between tree planting and a block party, this was a great event for neighbors to connect with one another while also enhancing their local environment.
Heritage Elementary School
Orchestrated by a team of dedicated PTO volunteers, the tree planting party held last spring at Heritage Elementary involved students, faculty, and numerous parents. With eight trees total, each grade level was appointed its own tree, which was adorned with a marker identifying the tree species, grade level planting, and date the tree was planted. Every student who was present on planting day had the opportunity to contribute to backfilling the planting hole on their grade’s tree, with parents facilitating the flow and planting instruction, supported by Urban Forestry staff. The 15 gallon trees planted as part of this grant project frame the two playgrounds on the south side of the school, in order to provide future shade for students. (Photo credit: Heritage Elementary School PTO)
Congratulations to these groups on their hard work and collaborative community building through the tree planting projects that they coordinated. We look forward to seeing how other groups come together for future Edmond Tree Grant projects!