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Hillsborough schools celebrate state Arbor Day | Community Spirit

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Hillsborough schools celebrate state Arbor Day
Hillsborough schools celebrate state Arbor Day

Hillsborough County, Florida -- According to Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful, Florida's state Arbor Day is today and more than 200 Fourth Grade Foresters across Hillsborough County will roll up their sleeves and plant a tree.  

The students will become members of Fourth Grade Foresters of Florida, an organization that cites its goal as revitalizing observation of Arbor Day in America's schools.  Fourth graders at American Youth Academy in Temple Terrace, Gorrie Elementary School in Tampa, and The Nativity School in Brandon will be receiving trees to take home or plant on campus.

"This project is made possible because groups like Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful covered the cost of each of the individually packaged evergreen trees, so that there is no cost to the students, the teachers, the school, or the taxpayer,"  Debra Ersch, Cofounder of the Fourth Grade Foresters Project stated. "It's a wonderful way to show support for the community, education and the environment."  

"All holidays are based on past events, but Arbor Day asks us to look to the future," said KHCB Executive Director Christine Commerce. "It reminds us that we have to take care of our Earth not only for ourselves but for future generations."

Fourth Grade Foresters USA was created to provide a simple and inexpensive way for any individual, business or organization to send the fourth grade students at an elementary school home with a tree of their own to plant and care for.  Each fourth grader receives an individually packaged 12"-18" evergreen tree seedling sealed in a polybag by workers with disabilities. Each package will include information about Florida's Arbor Day, planting and care instructions.  

Now in the era of climate change and air pollution, tree planting is even more important than ever.  Trees take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere to help reduce warming and clean the air we breathe. In addition, they keep our rivers and lakes clean through their root systems, which also hold the ground together so that it does not wash away into the water.

"Planting trees is a simple, inexpensive and easy way to address these problems and provide solutions," Commerce said.  

This project was sponsored through a Macy's District Grant. For more information on how to sponsor a KHCB event or to volunteer, call 813-960-5121 or visit www.khcbonline.org.

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