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Tree Titans work to change the landscape

La Habra Journal Staff

A group of students from Washington Middle School presented their tree passion and proposal to the La Habra City School Board last week.
The Tree Titans, aka: Tannya Gallegos, Jessica Emerson, Emmanuel Ruiz, Yuko Jackson, Cyana Arce, Kendra Wise and Janelle Martinez, delivered a plea for more trees, ground cover, and a drip irrigation system around their school’s amphitheater.
These self-named WMS Tree Titans, have worked with teacher Dr. Susan Pritchard, since August learning about trees, how many have been lost from the school, and why.
The team was sad to learn more than 20 trees have been lost to the drought and other problems. The next steps for the team included identifying the different needs of the school and deciding where increasing the tree population would have the greatest positive impact.
After much research, working with La Habra City School District grounds supervisor, Bert Cota, the team chose the school’s amphitheater as their first project for “green transformation.”
Using their Master Plan for Loving and Caring for Trees, the Titans researched the type of trees that thrive in the city as well as those that are safe for school areas.
No self-pruning trees were chosen as their limbs could fall and cause injuries. The best trees for the school’s amphitheater were determined to be Crape Myrtle and Desert Museum Trees.
The team developed a materials budget for completing this project. The total cost of planting drought resistant trees and ground cover with a new drip irrigation system will be $10,000.
To earn that amount, the team has started their fund raising efforts by hosting a Mystical Forest Dance in September. The combined revenue from the dance and a donation by the school’s yearbook class has netted a total of $685. But the team is looking to raise more by talking to the community.
The WMS Tree Titans are excited to share their passion for trees as they speak to the community about their amphitheater transformation project.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.