The City of Delaware teamed up with the AP Environmental Science class at Hayes High School to plant an autumn blaze maple on the north lawn of the high school Friday morning for Arbor Day.
City Arborist Doug Richmond said when the tree is full grown, it could stand 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. He added the ground of the north lawn at Hayes is “pretty rocky,” so the tree won’t be able to reach its maximum size. However, Richmond noted the autumn blaze maple is a resilient species that will do fine regardless.
Richmond planted, watered, and staked the tree in the rain Friday morning with the help of Hayes students. Despite the weather, he said it was the biggest group he’d seen at a tree planting.
City of Delaware Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle read a proclamation before the tree was planted. She said it was great to get the school involved in the annual tradition.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Riggle said after the tree was planted. “It teaches our youth how important trees are and what they mean to the city. Not only for the environment but the values and the oxygen they produce. It’s really important to me that we do this. I hope one day we do this at all the schools on the same day.”
McKenna Roush, a senior at Hayes, helped staked the tree, and she was glad the tree was planted at Hayes.
“I’m really proud,” she said.
Roush described herself as an environmentalist, adding her class has been working toward different environmental projects throughout the year.
“The younger generation has really taken charge,” she said. “We need to do something. It’s a unifying thing.”
Fellow senior Bradley Brookover assisted Richmond in spreading the soil over the tree, adding he was happy to help.
“I really like nature,” Brookover said. “I like trees, and I like seeing the community take part in restoring what we’ve taken.”
The AP Environmental Science class will be in charge of watering the tree every few days when it’s dry, and Brookover said he’s excited to help.
“It’ll be cool to take care of it,” he said. “It’s a new beginning. It’s a new step forward.”
The tree was planted as part of the city’s annual tree planting event.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.