Palmer Lake Elementary celebrates Arbor Day

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Palmer Lake Elementary School students had their Earth/Arbor Day celebration late in hopes of avoiding inclement weather but it didn't work. Many of its May 9 activities were cut short because of rain, snow and distant thunder.

Earth Day was April 22 and Arbor Day in Colorado was April 19 but many communities choose to celebrate Arbor Day closer to the frost-free planting dates.

“That's the problem with setting dates so far in advance,” said second-grade teacher Linda Wilson, who with kindergarten paraeducator Lisa Phillips planned the day's activities. “Oh well, the kids will remember this day.”

Every grade level participated in the celebration. Together, the students collected a total of $301.89 in coins to donate toward tree planning in the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area and recycled $1,500 worth of paper and aluminum cans.

While a few of the activities happened indoors, such as fifth-grade electronic recycling with help from Blue Star Recyclers and paper recycling, others were to be completed in shifts outdoors in a variety of locations near the school. Some groups were able to complete their projects before the rain began but others didn't even get started.

One project that was completed by second-graders was the planting of three flowering trees in front of the school. Two of the trees were dedicated to Hugh and Josh Eaton. Hugh Eaton was a local school superintendent and Josh Eaton was his son, a second-grader who died of heart ailments 15 years ago, Wilson said. The third tree was dedicated to the Palmer Lake community in honor of the town's 31st year as a Tree City USA.

Third-graders raked and planted flowers for Blanch Scott, 93, one of the town's pioneers. Other activities were planned with help from Catamount Institute and Colorado Springs Utilities.