A lasting impact

Tom Milstead/Torrington Telegram Trail Elementary fourth graders pack dirt around a linden tree they planted to observe Arbor Day.

TORRINGTON – In a wild flurry of activity that only lasted a few minutes last Thursday, local fourth graders made an impact that will affect the world for the next 100 years or more. 

The students, along with Torrington Mayor Randy Adams, Wyoming Forestry Coordinator Mark Hughes and representatives from the Grassroots Garden Club, planted a pair of linden trees at the start of the walking path that winds through town. The trees were planted in honor of Arbor Day, which was Friday.

Carter Groene took the lead of one of student groups, and directed his classmates how to preserve the grass around the tree. According to him, Arbor Day is important because without trees, life would be impossible. 

“I’ve grown up on a farm so I know what it’s like,” he said. “You want to get the soil and grass growing. There was already nice grass, so you want to put it back into its natural habitat. 

If we don’t have tress the produce oxygen, we couldn’t breathe. Almost everything that comes from trees helps us and supports us in our lives.”

Adams, a former teacher, said it was great for him to see the kids so invested in planting the trees. 

“You could tell they were having a great time,” he said. “They participated and they understood what we were doing here. Maybe not immediately, but over time they’ll appreciate the fact they got to participate in some tree planting. In 20 years, maybe they’ll come back and their little trees will be up there in the air and they can say ‘I did that.’”

The event was special for the members of Grassroots Garden Club, as well. One of the club’s former members, Neva Rodgers, was instrumental in creating the walking path, which covered up an irrigation ditch that ran through town and collected a lot of trash along the way. Club member Kayce Weber told the students how the walking path came to be. 

Rodgers, Weber said, applied for a grant through Sears-Roebuck for $4,000, and the rest was taxpayer-funded. 

“A simple concrete irrigation pipe was installed and covered-up,” Weber said. 

“A playground was put in at the beginning of the trail and picnic tables and shelters were put up in Jirdon Park at the end of the trail.”

Linden trees have an expected lifespan of several hundred years and the oldest examples have lived more
than 1,000 years.

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