SAFE coordinator Debbie Adair said Alabama Power provided a $350 Good Roots grant to SAFE to plant fruit orchards at the Sylacauga community garden and school gardens at Sycamore, Salter, Indian Valley and Pinecrest elementary schools.
Principal Dr. Audrey Chatman welcomed guests to the campus. Representing Alabama Power were crew members Mike Wesley and Josh Shell, customer service representative Lisa Vernon, engineer David Black and business office manager Steve Marlowe. Representing SAFE were Adair, lead gardener Bill Roberts and executive director Margaret Morton. Parent volunteers included Shea Brown, Donna Holland and Chris Sharron.
“This is the time of year to plant trees because they’re dormant,” Roberts explained to the students. “There’s not as much shock when you plant them. We will water them when we plant them today, but then we won’t have to water them again until spring.”
Adair said half the grant money has been spent to buy 21 trees. At Sycamore, the students planted two Asian pears and two turkey brown figs.
“We’re working to develop a culture of wellness,” Morton said. “A child who plants, harvests and eats healthy fruits and vegetables is likely to carry those habits into adulthood.”
She said the students can also be a good influence on their parents’ eating habits.
“Thanks to Alabama Power, we have an opportunity to grow this program and plant a fruit orchard at each school and also to provide seedlings for the students to take home and plant with their families.”
Contact Bill Kimber at firstname.lastname@example.org