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Chelsea High School Alumni Arbor site of Earth Day event

By Lisa Carolin with slideshow at the bottom of story.

Slideshow by Burrill Strong at top of story.

The Chelsea High School Alumni Arbor, established nearly a year ago on May 6, 2017, received some TLC Sunday, April 22, in honor of Earth Day.

CHS teacher Shawn Sinacola-Rodriguez, who runs the high school’s Arbor Club, along with teacher Holly Reiser, who is the advisor to the school’s Bio Club and Interact Club, invited their clubs to participate.

“We decided to get as many clubs and alumni together to help celebrate Earth Day by preparing the Alumni Arbor trees (all 77 of them) and the Bio Club’s garden for the spring,” said Sinacola-Rodriguez. “We thought this was a perfect opportunity to connect past and current students in fulfilling our mission as a green school.”

Tim Courtright, the school district’s grounds and maintenance director, also helped facilitate cleaning up portions of the grounds. The Arbor Club works with Courtright and CHS Principal Mike Kapolka to maintain the Alumni Arbor.

“Arbor Tree Care Surgeons graciously donated (for a second year) free wood chip mulch last week, and the maintenance crew moved it close to all of our trees,” said Sinacola-Rodriguez.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Fun in the Earth DAy sun during an event to clean-up the Alumni Arbor at Chelsea High School.

Volunteers put mulch around the trees on Earth Day and set out water bags on the trees. Sinacola-Rodriguez credits the school’s maintenance crew, especially Rob McDowell and Tom Clemons, with helping to move the water bags to and from storage for the winter. A donation from the Chelsea Community Foundation paid for the bags.

Arbor Club member Laura Scudder, a senior, was one of the Earth Day volunteers.

“It’s a beautiful day to take everything in and help out,” said Scudder. “I enjoy being involved with nature.”

Alumni were invited to participate in Earth Day work and Kristy (Del Prete) Damron, class of 1976, was there taking care of her class’s Serbian Pine tree.

“I helped last year and thought it was a great project Shawn put together,” said Damron. “I love this school and I love this town.”

The Alumni Arbor includes trees representing the classes from 1943 to 2017. Sinacola-Rodriguez says they’ll soon be adding a tree for this year’s graduating class.

“We are looking forward to two future projects: On May 5, we’ll be hanging all of the ceramic tile tags on the trees that our Arbor Club art students will be creating, and planting the class of 2018’s tree, and in the 2018-2019 school year, building compost and beginning a composting project at CHS,” said Sinacola-Rodriguez. 

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