Thursday, May 3, 2018

Arbor Day - April 27, 2018

Venus Dogwood Planting - South Whidbey High School - April 27, 2018
Breaking Ground for the Japanese Maple
Japanese Maple Planting - South Whidbey High School - April 27, 2018
Katsura Tree Planting - South Whidbey High School - April 27, 2018
Coral Bark Japanese Maple Planting - South Whidbey High School - April 27, 2018
Emperor I Japanese Maple - South Whidbey High School - April 27, 2018
Honk 4 Trees Signage
This year, eighth grade students threw themselves into the Arbor Day spirit by earning $299.75 in the four-day bake sale that was held during lunch. With the funds, we were able to plant five fine trees on the South Whidbey High School campus. Four of the trees are located along Maxwelton Road. The Coral Bark Japanese Maple was placed in the staff parking lot. Their beauty will undoubtedly slow traffic in years to come. In addition, a group of my sixth period students picked up all of the trash in an area freshly cleared of blackberry bushes. I'm already looking forward to next year's planting.

Trash Cleanup - Sixth Period Students
Calm Before the Storm
Solid Sales

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Arbor Day - April 28, 2017

Starlight Dogwood Planting - Langley Middle School - April 28, 2017
Bloodgood Japanese Maple Planting - Langley Middle School - April 28, 2017
For Arbor Day this year, students in my 8th grade Language Arts / Social Studies block class proposed we hold a multi-day bake sale to raise money for trees. Many students gave freely of their time to bake for the sale. Over the course of three days, we earned $216.50!

Pre-Sale Poster - Langley Middle School Hallway
Working the Sale
Cheesecake Selections
The afternoon before Arbor Day, my dad and I took his pick-up to Venture Out Nursery on Maxwelton road. There, I picked out a Bloodgood Japanese Maple and a Starlight Dogwood tree. Both were planted in front of Langley Middle School on April 28th.

Calculated Digging
Working in Compost
Showing Commitment
Students composed poems and drew pictures of what the trees will look like in twenty years. I look forward to continuing this tradition as we move to South Whidbey High School next year.

- - - - -

The Lone Tree

The sun illuminates so brightly,
The sight of it simply delights me.
Watch it grow over the years,
It might just bring you to tears.
It must be strong enough for the long winter,
but when you put your hands on it,
Try not to get a splinter.

- Kaidyn Brinks


Flowing in the wind
Free as the sky
Beautiful shades of all colors
So strong, an axe would just bruise it
So why can’t we go and flow
Why can’t we be free as the sky
Why can’t we have shades of all kinds and love them
Why can’t we be strong
Why can’t we be like that tree?

- Joanie Welever


So soft,
For our fingers to touch,
So beautiful,
For our eyes to see,
So warm,
For the animals to live in,
So colorful,
For our own pleasure.

- Miracle Harvey

Dear Giving Tree,

How are you?
I’m fine.
Heard autumn wasn’t light.
I hope you have fully recovered.

Listen, I’ve met another.
She is a maple and really nice.
She doesn’t have pokey bark like you.
She is an amazing listener.

I planted her in my yard.
I read next to her and we have picnics every day.
I still remember the times we had so,
Hope we can stay friends.


- Brent Batchelor

Arbor Day

To day is the day
A perfect day
To plant a tree you see
Will have so much fun
And when we're done
 we will wait till next spring
To plant another one

- Tayla Hymas


Once the perfect ground is detected,
This tree will be planted, forever protected.
But the anger of man does not yield,
And soon the perfect ground becomes a hardy battlefield.
Some may marvel at it’s leaves stained red,
But few know they are stained with the blood of men long dead.

- Callum Cassee

Japanese Maple

Sometimes dark,
But the older it gets,
the younger it looks,
So sweet and simple,
A Japanese Maple

- Luke Stadler

Dogwood Tree

You’re small and weak now
You will have a hard time at the beginning
But we will help you
You will get all the food and water you need
You will grow to be big and strong
Your large branches will extend far
Creating shade for the bunnies on a hot summer day
In a few years your flowers will sprout
and those who drive by
will be in awe of your beauty

- Samantha Daly


Maple standing so small
It’s red leaves spread out
It’s thin trunk sways in the wind
It gives off little shade
But it makes a beautiful day

- Lily Farnham


O’ great tree
With vibrant hues
Shine your starlight
Down on me tonight

- Trent Hogarth

The Good Blood

Drip, drop, falling from the leaves
Painted in deep red hues
Vibrant against the emerald grass
Praise the good blood

- Trent Hogarth

Dear Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree,

Grow fast!
I’ve seen pictures of others like you
And you’re gorgeous!
Your leaves are a beautiful
Mix of pink and red
They would make our school
Look welcoming
And colorful
Grow fast!

- Ashley Lynch

“Cornus luce Stellarum”

The only life that sits in front of my own,
two binocular lenses, my eyes,
is the Starlight Dogwood tree, in the middle of the road.

The tree is respected for this town
with a limited amount of life resources.
Everyone will do anything to avoid ruining the tree.

The delicate white leaves lightly sway with the wind.
The small tree smiles as the people
bow down to the Starlight Dogwood.

One day, a non-native from the small town crushed
the only thing the town wanted, needed or basically had… the tree!
The town became weaker and weaker every second without the tree.

- Camille White


Maple maple
Grow so high
Grow so high you touch the sky
So everyone can see your beautiful light
And spread your happiness so far
That even the darkest corners
Can see some cheer
Maple maple
Grow so high

- Ian Maddux

Arbor Day

Baby tree, baby tree
Leaves infused with children’s glee
Gifting you with growing free

For now you’re standing very small
But one day you will grow quite tall
And create happiness for all

Your leaves will produce lovely shade
That’s where we will have it made
Beauty that is not manmade

- Natalie Rodriguez

Tree Poem

Red is the top of your fingers                              
Brown is your back
You make us prosper and thrive
You fill our lungs with life giving air
You stay with this dying world
And you stay strong

- Gabe Lusk


leaves red
tints of maroon
colors of fall
branches thin but strong

full of leaves
bushy and thick
bold and bright

the tall tree stands
representing autumn
having beauty and grace
whimsical and long
a bloodgood

- Calyna Saephan

Bloodgood Maple

Purple, red, yellow and green
How many colors could be on this tree?
Many, many years this tree will be living,
Just going to the end,
Which is really the beginning.

- Thomas Simms

Starlight Dogwood

Starlight dogwood, starlight dogwood,
How people smile at you,
Your sweet smell,
And your silky white leaves,
Oh how they smile at you.

- Krisann Turnbull-Agnew

Maple Memories

Maple trees,
Red as hibiscus passion teas,
They swoosh and sway,
Growing old someday,
Standing proud,
Flustered with roots that are profound,
I love to look and listen,
To the breezy leaf crinkling sound.

- Raven Winter

Japanese Maple

Red like your flag
White wood like sushi
Tall like mountains
But red like blood

- Preston Leon


Trees, so green
They can be small or big.
There's a variety of colors,
Some red some white
Trees can be themselves,
They can grow any way,
Anywhere they want.
Its okay to grow,
Just be you.

- Jason Drake

Japanese Maple by Jasmine Fletcher

The tree glimmers,
Filled with colors of gold,
The tree shimmers,
Protecting us from the freezing cold,
We are not bigger,
We have no hold,
Let us all consider,
This has gotten old,
Let us all stop our snickers,
Let this century be retold.

- Felicity Watson

Japanese Maple

Japanese  Maple
Short yet stable
Calmly sits
Next to the table
Waiting to be planted
In front of the school
Japanese Maple
Is very cool

- Caleb Burns

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Maroon maple leaves,
Dancing in the wind.
A little splash of color,
In this forest of green.
Maroon maple leaves,
On this one, Japanese tree.

 - Aidan Donnelly

Cherry Blossoms

As the cherry blossoms
Fall from the tree it fills
You with determination knowing
One that one day it will grow tall.

- Jasmine Fletcher

Tree House

Green everywhere,
brown shooting up,
and sprawling everywhere
glimpses of the bright
yellow sun, shine
A giggle echoing
through the big
green giants
thumping is
heard on the leafy
A child jumps
from tree to tree
scaling all of
The giants sway
back and forth,
soothing the little
creature to sleep.
The branches
enclose around her
blanketing her from
the outside.

- Rachel Harder

A Tree Stands Tall

A tree stands tall over the town
Thinking that it will never fall
For even in the wind, the storm,
The axe, or the machine,
Nothing would ever break it’s pride
As it stood tall over all other things

- Brennen Pearson

Monday, May 2, 2016

Arbor Day - April 29, 2016

Breaking Ground (Sister Tree in Background) - April 29, 2016
This Arbor Day, both of my Language Arts / Social Studies classes pitched in to plant a Cherokee Brave Dogwood Tree in front of Langley Middle School. Its placement mirrors the previously planted dogwood tree to the right of the entrance. I would like to use this blog to document trees planted by my classes in public spaces.

Tree Planters - Language Arts / Social Studies - Block 1

Tree Planters - Language Arts / Social Studies - Block 2

Cherokee Brave (Potted) - Kaija Moon Dahle
As part of our 2016 Arbor Day planting, students composed poems and drew pictures and comics about or to the new “Cherokee Brave” Dogwood Tree. Below is a selection of submitted work:

The Dogwood

Behold the Dogwood’s beauty
A simple stunning sight
Daringly standing duty
For freedom it would fight

A tiny terrific tree
Bustling with birds
Sacred serenity
Without description of words

- Sam Baesler

Arbor Day Tree Poem

I don’t think i'll ever see
A poem that’s as beautiful as a tree
A tree that has a bunch of nests in it
Filled with beautiful creatures
A tree that feeds off rain

- Aidyn Frederick

The trees are sweet,
the flowers are blooming,
everything in its place.

The leaves are still growing
it is time to plant a tree,
Save the earth.

No I'm not a tree hugger,
I just like the earth,
Isn't it our mother?

- Kieran Birchfield

Arbor Day Tree Poem

Arbor Day comes once a year
I hope you enjoy your stay
Have a good life,
Love your day,
I promise I’ll visit you every year
on the same day that I brought you here
soon you will be like your neighbor
large and majestic
the tree that catches everyone's eye
always warming the heart of a lonely guy
your day will be here soon
expect some more company
a Cherokee Brave just like yourself
or a different breed of something else
all it takes is one seed
so grow as much as you desire
all through the night
I’ll be here,
on Arbor Day next time.

- Jacob Breeden

The Tree Tomorrow

The tree I see today,
Is not the tree I’ll see tomorrow
Or the next day.
The tree I see today,
Will grow,
Little by little,
Inch by inch
Until it is flourishing
In the midday sun.

- Sarah Cravy

It splits the dirt
Peaking out into the world
Beginning its new life
A small green sprout

Heavy rain falls
And soaks into the dirt
Up the roots
And into the leaves

The sun shines down
Soaking warmth into the leaves
The plant grows
Up up up

It flowers
Beautiful bright pink
It keeps going
Reaching for the top of the sky

- Liam Cribs

Saving a Tree

The Earth,
Reaching out to touch the sky
With its leafy arms.
The trees,
Stretching up to the clouds,
With their leafy branches.
The trees,
Forever growing up to the atmosphere.
The sky,
Raining down it's pure tears of joy,
Allowing the trees to drink the happiness,
Further boosting the tree’s journey to space…

- Kaija Moon Dahle

Your roots grow thick, sinking into the ground
deeper and deeper
through the dark, wet soil.
Your branches grow high, reaching for the sky,
looking for  a light to help them grow.
Your buds turn into blossoms, blossoms to flowers,
showing the world your inner beauty,
with a fragrance light and sweet.
You are far more than just
a little Dogwood tree.

- Flannery Friedman

Now and in the Future

A marvelous thing
Delivering co2 to the people of Earth
Being kind and generous to the birds, squirrels and many more
A beautiful site they are
Providing wood, jobs, paper and fun for the children
They are trees

- Andrew Fry


Blow through
Blow with
The lone tree stands tall

An era with reason
An era with hope for all

But nothing has hope
Unless it has hoped
Upon a lone tree

Standing for twenty years
Giving life with hope
And a nice breeze

- Jeffrey Jackson

Potential - Jeffrey Jackson
Tree Poem

Pink Tree,
In the classroom.
Long lims,
With big pink flowers.
Lots of pink.
Big pink flowers.
I hope it grows,
For a long long while.

- Chloe Loer

Arbor Day

The trees are growing
There's no denying it
In a sense of joy
you can't help but smile

Because you created life to replace the lost
You did a good deed
but not all good deeds end well
What if it gets cut down...

Or worse, your creation of life
will die
but so will you
but you are not worried about yourself
you’re worried about the life you created and
Cared for.

- Cameron Martin

Our Little Tree

Oh, our little tree,
Our happy little tree,
Someday you will grow big and strong
Or possibly I’m wrong.
I hope you will see
How important you are to me
You really do belong

- Jena Mattern

Getting Real - Madison Ellerby-Muse
Trees trees trees
Without them we would
Die die die
Trees trees trees
They are great
Trees trees trees

- Lewis Mattson

Arbor Day Poem

Pink flowers dance across the branches
Of the small tree,
Leaves enclosing the hidden
Buds that are scattered
Across the dogwood.
Many stare, and many wonder
Will this tree survive?
Or will it flourish in
The beautiful landscape
Of Langley Middle School?

- Lila McCleary

The Tall Stretching Trees
Blooming up towards the sky
Forever reaching
Grasping at the sun's rays
The tall gentle giants
Of our home

- Caleb Mills

Roots and Flowers

Pink , Blue, Red, and Green.
Some tall some lean,
Some short and fat,
Some house many bats,
They make fire, paper and weapons,
Yes, I am talking about trees.

- Isabella Noble

A Dogwood

Your coral colored petals
Look like butterflies
Waiting to fly away at any moment
You are named after man's best friend
But sometimes treated as though you don't matter
Chopped down or neglected
But don't you worry dogwood
I will always love you

- Alison Papritz

Arbor Day

Trees are beautiful
Trees are amazing
They provide oxygen,
Which is pretty cool

- Ethan Petty

Looking Forward - Lila McCleary

All shapes and sizes
Some tall
Some short
Some so small
You can't find its big toe
Some so wide
You can't wrap your arms around it
Some so frail
Afraid it'll snap
But they're all different
Not one exactly the same

- Stephany Schaaf

Poem to a Tree

Your flowers will bloom
They’ll shrivel up and die
You’ll continue to grow
High up in the sky
You might go through floods
You might go through droughts
You’ll go through the storms
That make all your roots fall out
You might get hit up
But just don’t give up
But I’m not a tree
So I wouldn’t know
So try your best to succeed and grow.

- Isaiah Gonzales

Cherokee Brave Tree

Your beauty is astonishing
Your flowers are as pink as my cheeks
Your bright, green leaves are bursting with life
But after a few months go by
your beauty will be blown away from you,
your flowers and leaves will float away
in the wind
and you will be left with nothing

Don't worry though
because after a couple of months pass by
you will burst with colour again
but for now we will both have to wait
until spring returns.

- Jessica Hodson


The trees so green and vibrant.

This doesn't last very long,
They change every season.

Some stay the same though,
They’re called evergreens.

So many different types,
Some with leaves,
Some with needles,
Some with flowers.

But they're all the same,
They all filter air and keep us alive.

I love you, trees.

Thank you.

- Jordyn Kelley

Sun and Flowers - Samantha Ollis

Little lives blossom into pink beauties
on a Cherokee Brave.
Has its own free living supply on earth
sunshine and all.
You think this plant is living the dream
because it doesn't have to do anything.
This young life can't move, can't run
just has to sit and watch life go by.
Seeing everyone else get to live life

- Kayla Knauer

Arbor Day Poem

Little tree, little tree
Grow tall and big
Little tree, little tree,
Small then big.
Big tree, big tree,
Tall and strong,
Big tree, big tree,
Growing old.
Old tree, old tree,
Dying slow.
Dead tree, dead tree
Used for wood.

- Sam Martin

Tree poem

Pink flowers blossoming
Branches easy enough to snap
The little tree is prepared to face the world
It’s time for it to grow big and beautiful

- Elie Miller

Standing Tall

Her elegant arms dance in the wind
As dreams of beauty leap through the warm summer air
Her shadow prances like a mysterious fairy
But soon
this sweet madams trip
must come to its tip
Until the morning tide arrives.

- Samantha Ollis
Stages - Isaiah Walker
Trees are love,
Trees make life,
We stab them,
And cut them in half.
They do not say,
For throughout the day,
They sit,
On flatbed trucks,
On their way,
To a new place.

- Quinn Pease


As the wind kicks up
blowing trees down
and homes lost.

Loved ones
band together
around the tree
for help and peace.

- Kole Nelson


Personally, I love trees
I hate to admit it, but I’m a tree hugger.
They’re beautiful,
They produce oxygen.
They give life!
What would we do without our lovely trees?
Some people,
They don’t care about trees.
They cut them down.
All just to make money.
But what they don’t realize is that trees give us so much.
Tree’s give animals habitats,
They provide shade,
They make paper and pencils.
What would we do without trees?

- Mya Pratt

20 Years

In 20 years, there won’t be many left of you
You will be all gone, just a few left standing
I’m sorry we didn’t recognize your value
before we took your lives away
Your friends, your family
All gone in just 20 years

- Mia Shockey

Once a twig

After 45 years the small twig
that was planted many years in the past
Has sprouted into its full potential.

Its colorful blossoms make great shade
for people walking by
A gathering spot for animals when passing by
Its branches reach out for the sky
Touching the clouds above
To think that long ago this wonderful beast
was just a stick
that wanted to grow.

- Skyler Stonebridge

The Cherokee Tree

So young and small,
Your stiff branches reaching for the sun,
The few flowers you hold cupped and delicate,
Their petals colourful and smooth,
Season after season you get bigger and stronger,
Your branches solid and beautiful,
The bouquets of flowers they hold lush and full,
Their petals bright and soft,
This is our Cherokee tree.

- Lizzy Taylor

Trees create life.
We see dead sticks,
but there's more.

Secrets of the ages
locked in wood.

- Joseph Vechnak


Tree please grow
Grow as tall as the mountains
Grow healthy tree
As healthy as a fresh picked fruit
Survive tree, survive for me

- Isaiah Walker

The Tree

One tree
Can embody so much
If you cut it down
Those hopes
They all come down with it
Just like that
Their gone

- Ahnika Burt

Children of the first world
You might wish that this tree made wifi
Cause if it did
Humans would plant trillions of trees
But honestly
I’m glad you help us live instead

- Madison Ellerby-Muse

Leave the trees alone let them
Grow let them become one with the
Earth and don’t chop them down
The trees let us breath,
They have been that way longer
Than any humans and this is their home.

- Brandon Eveland

Wild Color - Sarah Cravy
Cherokee Brave

Branches are few
Flower buds a couple
Must be home for dinner
But I’ll stop to admire the sapling

Branches are many
Flower buds are bloomed
Must build a home
But I’ll stop to smell the petals

Branches are dozens
Flowers abundant
Must make dinner
But I’ll stop to water the roots

Branches are breaking
Flowers wilting
Must bury the dead
But I’ll stop to weep beneath the leaves

- Abigail Barnett

Arbor Day Tree Poem

Your branches sway in the wind
I can’t believe how large you’ve gotten
You look so beautiful standing tall and unbroken
It seems not that long ago
My class and I planted you
It’s amazing you survived the bunnies
And dear
You are so large
So climbable
It’s surprising you withstood the generations of children
But you’re still standing
Tall and unbroken

- Megan Parker