I'm really enjoying the challenge. It is a very different type of writing, and you know what? I find it difficult to write on demand. Writing an article is not as easy as it would seem. I have new found respect for my fellow reporters.
Alright, enough about me. Here's the full story:
The latest Beautify CNMI project is set to begin in January. Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council coordinator and Beautify CNMI Park & Trails Committee chair Ken Kramer is looking for local schools to help propagate native trees for the Laulau Revegetation Project.
RC&D signed an agreement with Coastal Resource Management in 2006 to facilitate a program where local students would learn how to propagate native trees to be used for revegetation activities. The goal of the project is to grow up to 1000 trees in time for the planting season in 2008.
Once interested schools are selected, RC&D will help determine how many trees the school can accommodate. RC&D will come into the school and teach the students about soil science, tree biology, and tree care. In coordination with the Beautify CNMI coalition, in January the schools will go out to collect native seeds for the project. Tree propagation will begin in late January and students will be expected to water and care for the trees until they are ready for planting in June or July. Most of the trees will be planted at the revegetation project in Laulau. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the planting, which will occur in coordination with Beautify CNMI.
The students will pick up many important skills. RC&D representatives will teach them how to germinate the seeds, how to transfer from a small pot to a larger pot, and general care for the saplings. They will also have the opportunity to learn how to identify native trees and seeds and how to plant a tree.
The number of trees that the school can propagate will be limited by the space available at the school and by the amount of water the school can provide. Each tree will require about 4 square feet of space and five plants will require about 2 gallons of water each day. For example, to grow 25 trees would require a 10 x 10 foot area and 10 gallons of water per day.
Schools can grow as many trees as they can handle, but they must grow a minimum of 25 trees to participate. RC&D will make site visits to the schools in January to determine how many trees would be appropriate to grow at each location.
In 2006 the CNMI Watershed group planted over 1700 native trees in the Laulau Watershed. The trees grown for this project will serve to replace some of trees that have died.
RC&D also leads year round field trips for students to visit the Laulau Watershed. During the field trip, students visit the Kagman Education Island and the Laulau Revegetation project to learn about erosion and watershed science. The goal of the field trips is to teach the students that “What we do on the land can affect our marine environment.”
Teachers interested in participating in the tree growing project or taking their students on a field trip can contact Kramer at 236-0893 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All grade levels at all public and private schools are invited to participate.