Middle school students fundraise to plant 200 trees for Tallahassee’s bicentennial

Middle school students create plan to plant 200 trees for Tallahassee's bicentennial
Middle school students create plan to plant 200 trees for Tallahassee's bicentennial(WCTV)
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:02 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A group of about 20 middle school students created a plan to plant 200 Japanese Magnolia trees at Broadmoore Pond Park for Leon County and Tallahassee’s bicentennial.

Maclay Middle School student Caroline Couch came up with the idea to leave a lasting impact on her hometown.

She runs cross country, spending a lot of her time in City and County parks.

“In Washington D.C., they have a lot of flowering trees, so I thought it would be a great idea if we could plant trees to celebrate our anniversary here in Tallahassee,” Couch said.

She reached out to principals and administrators to create a group of students from all over.

“Our first meeting was on Earth Day this year and we got the County involved to find a park and see if this was possible, and we’ve been working with them since,” said Couch. “We thought trees would be a great idea because they’re big and they’ll make this park really colorful, and make an impact on the environment.”

Students, such as Samy Monmany, jumped at the opportunity to make a difference.

“I was very interested in doing it because I wanted to make a change and I was like I can show that when I’m older and be like, I was a part of that,” Monmany said. “When I’m older, when I have a family, I can be like hey, that was me, and show them the behind the scenes of how we got there.”

The students fundraised for months to purchase the trees, using GoFundMe and penny drives.

“The County is funding 100 trees through their Arbor Day project, and we have successfully raised $6,000 for the other 100 trees,” Couch said.

As of early November, the group has reached its fundraising goal. Any additional donations will go toward other park improvements, such as benches or water fountains.

The County says although National Arbor Day is in April, Leon County celebrates in January, because winter is the best time to plant trees in Florida.

The volunteer event has 500 total sign-up spots available.

“We’ll have food trucks and we’re also going to be giving out t-shirts, and if you come and plant the Food Truck Arepas is going to be giving out free arepas to whoever is planting and helping out,” Monmany said.

The planting event is happening from 8:00 a.m. until noon on January 22.

The County advises wearing closed-toed shoes and bringing water and shovels.

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