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Students plant trees on Mare Island
March 20th, 2012 by steveoh

Students plant trees on Mare Island, graduate from mini med school

It could have been “Bob.”

But instead, a group of fourth-graders decided to name their newly planted California live oak after a wish: Peaceful Future.

“It was really nice to be able to come out here with my friends and be able to help the community,” said Isaiah Harper, a 9-year-old from Vallejo Charter School.

The school sent two classes on a field trip Friday to Mare Island as part of an Arbor Week outreach program by Solano Advocates for Green Environments (SAGE) and a coalition of local groups.

This is the third year SAGE has had the program, with elementary school students planting trees in City Park last year, SAGE executive director Sarah Nichols said.

Nichols demonstrated how to plant the California live oak on U.S. Forest Service property on Mare Island.

“If it’s planted too deeply, the tree could actually suffocate and die,” Nichols said, unwinding some of the sapling’s roots.

As in past years, the program was part physical, part living history lesson as students not only wrested trees into the ground, but also learned about Vallejo’s own roots.

“I think it’s fun planting trees and knowing more about where we live,” 9-year-old Janelle Hines said.

The field trip also included a visit from medical students and pediatric faculty at nearby Touro University.

Students were able to get brief hands-on experience listening to heartbeats, experimenting with taste buds and getting a feel for osteopathic medicine.

“I think it’s been kind of cool,” 9-year-old Sarah Pettigrew said.

The field trips will continue through early next week and will include elementary school students from across the city.

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