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Collaborative Tulip Tree Planting Engages Students in Environmental Education

Collaborative Tulip Tree Planting Engages Students in Environmental Education

In Fall 2023, a popular gingko tree was removed from Conant because of concerns around safety and building maintenance. Trees are an important part of the outdoor school environment in Bloomfield Hills Schools, they offer shade on hot days and a quiet place to read. 

Conant teachers and nature enthusiasts, Samara Cohen, Alison Lirette, and Sarah MacLeod, along with building and district leadership, worked with the Johnson Nature Center to kickstart the initiative of planting a new tree. One of the most important parts of this effort was to invite students to be involved in the process.

The nature center’s educational specialist Brooke Larm and the team at Conant met to discuss possible ways to integrate tree planting into the existing plant curriculum across all grade levels. Students were provided a list of possible trees to plant. After researching the options, students voted for the most suitable tree for the Conant community.  

Conant students took part in a “dig day,” with the assistance of the BHS facilities department, where classes had the opportunity to help dig the hole for the new tree. The Johnson Nature Center provided the necessary digging tools. “Digging was fun because I have never really done something like this before," commented second grade student, Aviana Leone. “All of the students were excited to take part in the digging of the hole. Everyone wanted to participate!” added paraprofessional Jill Formanek. 

This collaborative effort helped to create a fun event for all Conant students and a lovely new addition of a tulip tree.