OLHMS Students Aid Brookfield Zoo Reforestation Effort with Innovative Tree Nursery Program

Recently, the District 123 Board of Education was presented with an opportunity to hear about the tremendous work of the OLHMS Forestry and Gardening club. Their sponsor Ms. Deb Barry, community member Mr. Bob Uzudanis, and OLHMS students provided the Board of Education with information regarding a recent project at the school district's tree nursery located on the northwest corner of the OLHMS property. The tree nursery housed on the property is the only known nursery on a school district's property throughout the State of Illinois. 

This fall, a partnership was formed between the school's Forestry and Gardening Club, Davey Tree Service, the Brookfield Zoo, and Mr. Bob Uzudanis to transplant mature trees from the school's nursery to the zoo. The Brookfield Zoo is currently working on a reforestation project to restore the loss of trees from a recent storm. Through this process, students had the opportunity to learn about the importance of tree conservation and the role that trees play in our environment.

Many District 123 students have been involved in every step of the tree-growing process, from planting seedlings to caring for the young trees as they grew. The Forestry and Gardening Club provides students with agricultural, hands-on, and active service-learning experiences in addition to their regular classes. In addition to working within the tree nursery, students participate in work days and harvests at the community garden, learning about conservation and the environment while making a real difference in their community.

The OLHMS tree nursery program is a shining example of how young people can make a difference in their community and help to protect the environment. The trees grown by the students will have a lasting impact on the local ecosystem for years to come. 

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