We are the Middle School Student Council Environment Committee.  The Environment Committee got started because all of us wanted to see more trees be planted at Horton Park, across the street from our school.  We’d seen many be cut down because of disease this year.

We didn’t know how exactly to get started.

  • Would the city council listen to us if we asked?
  • Would we be able to plant trees on our own without the consent of the city?

Then, we found out the the 3rd and 4th grade had formed a Tree Committee. They had also seen many of the Ash trees cut down and also had many questions.

Tree Committee presentation to 1st & 2nd grade

The Tree Committee members met once a week since the beginning of February and invited Karl the Arborist to visit the school. He spoke about needing to cut down trees affected by the Emerald Ash Bore disease and the need for more tree diversity in Horton Park. He also told us about the Arbor Day tree planting event at Horton Park. We began our quest to involve the community around us.

Those of us in middle school had been brainstorming ideas to help our environment when we thought about the idea of helping the trees around our school and in the park. We joined forces with the Tree Committee and met our goal of helping our neighborhood trees.

Tree Committee and Environment Committee join together.

The Arbor Day celebration was an event that the Hamline-Midway Environment Group and the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department put on at the Horton Park on the morning of Saturday, April 28.

“We started as a third and fourth grade Tree Committee to find out why so many trees were being cut down in Horton Park last year. And now, in April, we are a part of this wonderful spring day of tree planting!”  – Kak, FSM teacher

Kak and students didn't let a little cold and rain stop them from having fun!
Lots of Friends School of Minnesota staff and their family members came to help.
Tina gets to know Emerald Ash Borer

Volunteers planted seventy two new trees in Horton Park. There were fun and games, like tree climbing stations, slacklining, and live music.

“In celebration of Arbor Day, my son & I helped plant 72 trees of 36 different varieties at Horton Park along with fellow Friends School folks and St. Paul Parks. Despite rainy, cool conditions I hadn’t had this much fun in a long time!” Stacey, FSM parent

We wanted to encourage people to come, so in student council, we made fliers and handed them out. We distributed them to homes surrounding the park to advertise the event. The third and fourth graders made signs for the school and posted the event in our school’s newsletter.  They also helped us hand out fliers in the neighborhood.

Smokey and Melissa bond over their love of trees.

In addition, the fifth grade class made signs for all the trees being planted that identify the tree and tell a few important facts about them.


Although the day was a little cold and rainy, many people from our school community and the neighborhood showed up to plant trees.

We can’t wait to see these trees mature as the park returns to its status as an arboretum.

A favorite tree!

  – By FSM students Ellie M-A, Evy, & Annie with teachers Melissa (humanities) & Kak (3rd & 4th grade)