MASSENA - On a relatively chilly Friday morning, Massena Central High School students in Randy Freimans Environmental Science class were busy outside planting seven trees on a long strip of land between portions of the parking lot.
The Massena Electric Department (MED), in an effort spearheaded by Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon, donated the trees to the school largely through a grant with American Forests.
Mr. Freiman said that he feels the donation serves a dual purpose.
Its basically a beautification project. Were trying to make (the parking lot) look a little more attractive while teaching the Environmental Science kids how to plant trees and take care of trees, Mr. Freiman said. In the last two weeks, (MED) got the idea for it and the okay. The Environmental Science kids volunteered to all take part in it.
This is a drainage area so this will hopefully prevent erosion. Andy McMahon reached out asking if wed be interested in planting some trees somewhere on campus to help not only to beautify, but to make it an educational experience and for Environmental Science it was a perfect mix, he said.
Mr. Freimans class is comprised of juniors and seniors.
While the discussion of the donation and planting was mostly done over the past two weeks, Mr. McMahon explained that MED was initially contacted by American Forests earlier in the year.
They approached me last spring and they were looking for a project to do in New York state. They got an anonymous donor, he said. We were struggling to find a project. This job was both useful for the environmental quality over there, and it was a great educational component to it. A lot of interesting things made it stand out.
American Forests, whose headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit conservation organization. According to their web site, the mission of the group is to protect and restore forests, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants.
Mr. McMahon noted that the majority of the money used for the project was from the foundation. He also said that through this experience the students will be tracking the growth of trees by using information they learn from the class.
This is the first time that MED has donated trees to the school, but Mr. McMahon said that future projects with multiple schools may lie ahead.
There are some other projects were going to do with schools this winter or spring. Most of the elementary schools well do something with. Most of the projects are educational in that were teaching kids the importance of trees, Mr. McMahon said.