“Trees give us oxygen.”
“They take carbon dioxide out of the air.”
“Animals live in them.”
“They keep us alive.”
Students at Wilberforce Elementary School responded quickly to questions about the benefit of trees posed by the Hydro One forestry team visiting their school on Arbour Day, May 2.
Hydro One teams annually visit more than 50 schools throughout the province during Arbour Week, as part of an initiative to teach kids about the importance of trees and vegetation management safety.
“It’s great to get into the community to talk about safety, what we do, and help sway negative sentiment for Hydro One,” said Rusty Cochrane, a Hydro One forestry technician who has been involved with the program for more than 20 years. “We’re not just about cutting trees.”
After an indoor presentation, students went outside to learn about the Hydro One bucket truck, and tools the utility arborists and forestry technicians use on the job.
“I think it’s a very good educational opportunity for students,” said Barb Davies, WES vice-principal. “It teaches them about the environment, and also the possibility of future jobs.”
Despite rain, students helped Cochrane plant a red oak and sugar maple spruce in the front yard of the school property. This year, Cochrane was using biochar from Haliburton Forest during the planting, to help encourage growth in what he said had proven to be dry land in years past.
Students each went home with a seedling, courtesy of the Hydro One Arbour Day program, which donated 100 trees to the WES student body.