Students, Sullivan 180 help beautify Liberty Middle School

Students backfill dirt onto a new planted tree

Students backfill a newly planted treeOn Wednesday, Sept. 27, students from Liberty Middle School assisted in planting six trees to help provide shade at the playground.

About three dozen students came out in shifts to help back fill the holes, dug by the school maintenance crew, who also placed the trees in the holes.

“I think it was a fun experience,” sixth grader Conner Baum said. “It felt good to help.”

Students with shovels pose for a photo outsideLily Kehrley agreed.

“It was really fun and I want to see them grow!” the sixth grader said. “It was fun because we will be a part of the school when we graduate.”

Earlier in the week, bushes were also planted in front of the school by the maintenance crew. Funding for the project was made possible, in part, by a $1,880 School Beautification Grant from Sullivan 180.

students work together to carry a bag of soil from a truck“Liberty Middle School is thrilled to accept the Sullivan 180 Beautification Grant. This generous support will help us enhance the beauty and vitality of our environment, one tree at a time,” Middle School Principal Heather Cheh said. “Together, we will create a greener, more vibrant community that future generations will cherish. Thank you for investing in the natural beauty that surrounds us and for being a partner in our mission to make our school a better place.”

As students separated the rocks and sod from the dirt and filled in around the trees, they learned more about the trees planted — two each of hawthorne, river birch and October glory maple — as well as proper planting techniques from Carmela Hugel, beautification program manager with Sullivan 180.

Students pose in front of school behind the middle school“I loved the planting and I wish we could do it again next year before going to the high school,” seventh grader Damien Keating said.

The students who participated were chosen by teachers and administrators because they have embraced the Leader in Me principles and have displayed 7 Habits.

“Creating student leaders and good citizens is important,” Cheh said. “We offer opportunities such as this for students who show those vital qualities.”

There was an added benefit of taking time to be outside on a beautiful day while helping the school.

“It was really nice to be able to get outside and be a part of making our school a better place and beautiful place,” eighth grader Shea-Leigh Kristiansen said. “I think that it is important to not only create a healthy school community, but a beautiful place to have that community too.”

“There were also several people at LCSD who we couldn’t have done this without,” Cheh said. “A special thank you to LMS staff Malinda Kristiansen and Tony Lesczynski, and LCSD Building and Grounds crew James Black, Joe Davis and Michael  Black.”