Chappell Elementary first-graders plant orchard

Chappell Elementary first-graders plant orchard with community help
Posted on 05/17/2023

First-graders at Chappell Elementary School spent time outdoors planting six fruit trees and a variety of pollinator-friendly plants on May 12. 

Students were hands on when it came to planting, decorating pots and preparing seeds and soil to take home for their own gardens. 

“We were fortunate to have Leadership Green Bay donate six fruit trees to us and all kinds of pollinator plants,” Principal Kristen Worden said. “That was important to us. We are an International Baccalaureate school and one of the things we teach our kids is sharing the planet in our community as well as around the globe.”

First-graders spend time learning about sustainability and taking care of the environment, so Worden said this was an opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge. 

“Our first-graders have been studying sustainability and how do we care for the earth, and how do we produce food to keep healthy body systems?” Worden said. “And so this turned out to be a perfect connection for us to the learning.”

Margaret Ellis from the Oneida Nation spoke and shared traditions with the students regarding planting and taking care of the earth. She taught the first-graders how to say tree in Oneida: kalútote̲. 

The orchard planting was made possible thanks to volunteers from Leadership Green Bay, a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber. 

Participant Tom Murphy said the program works on community leadership and getting people involved in the community.

“Everyone in the class gets split into project teams and has to complete a project benefiting the community,” Murphy said. “So in this case, this is our project benefiting the community.”

The volunteers from Leadership Green Bay partnered with New Leaf Foods for the plants and trees, Murphy said.

“They have an initiative called the Urban Food Forest that's starting to take root all over the City,” Murphy said. “So in addition to this orchard, this food forest they've got a big project they are working on with the city of Green Bay out at Seymour Park. We're also duplicating this project out at Red Smith school.”

A similar orchard was planted at Red Smith Elementary on May 15.

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