Aspen students get green with tree planting |

Aspen students get green with tree planting

Students planted trees around the Aspen Middle School sledding hill Thursday as part of a Canary Tags project.

ASPEN – Aspen Elementary School third-grader Jack Seamans summed up Wednesday’s tree-planting project perfectly: “If you want to get green, you gotta get dirty.”

Dozens of Aspen school kids did just that when they participated in the city of Aspen’s first Canary Tags project – planting 24 Douglas fir and 20 Ponderosa pine trees around the Aspen Middle School sledding hill.

“These are your trees, and we hope you love them,” Lauren McDonell, interim director of the Canary Initiative, told the crowd of students, school administrators and city officials before the dirt began flying.

According to McDonell, as the trees grow they will store an estimated 130.5 tons of carbon dioxide. In addition, the trees will provide “shade, beauty and cleaner air” – integral parts of the city’s Canary Initiative, which is “dedicated to reducing greenhouse gases in Aspen to address the problem of global climate change.”

Canary Tags are investments in local projects that further this goal; tags are $20 per ton and can be purchased by individuals, businesses and events to offset activities that produce greenhouse gases such as flying, driving or home and business energy use.

“This project presents a rich learning opportunity for our students, as it will assist them in becoming increasingly more aware and engaged in global climate-change issues within their own community,” said Aspen schools Superintendent John Maloy.

Partnering in Wednesday’s tree-planting project was Plant Trees 4 Life, a local gifting company; the goal is planting 1 million trees in 10 years. In the past six months, Plant Trees 4 Life has planted more than 1,100 trees in the Aspen area.

“The environmental benefits of trees are myriad,” said Plant Trees 4 Life founder Pamela Hart. “Our sincere hope is to inspire a lifetime of giving, by the people we touch and to the world in which we live.”

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