The idea of hosting community tree planting projects at Carroll emerged last year when school president Beth Blaufuss and the executive director of Casey Trees, Mark Buscaino, were brainstorming ideas for collaboration during a Leadership Greater Washington event. The partnership that came about as a result focused on three events that created win-win outcomes for Casey Trees, for the city and for Carroll.
The first event, a tree planting workshop that took place in the beginning of March, brought homeowners and other community members to Carroll for a classroom training led by Casey Trees. Attendees learned how to plant and care for trees and then gained hands-on experience while planting over thirty saplings on school grounds.
Thanks to this new partnership, Carroll students are also receiving an important lesson in environmental stewardship. Each year, Casey Trees partners with about 12 schools to conduct workshops for students. Archbishop Carroll is proud to now be one of them.
In mid-March, staff from the organization returned for a workshop with some of Carroll's environmental science students. The students, along with their teacher Mr. Burton, planted six young River Birch trees in front of the school. The students now have a unique ownership stake in seeing them thrive and grow.
The third tree planting event was a large-scale project held on March 18. The DC Department of Transportation (Urban Forestry Administration), Casey Trees and Archbishop Carroll joined forces to plant over a hundred baby pines along North Capitol Street. The DC Department of Transportation provided the trees and oversight. Casey Trees provided the expertise and volunteers. Carroll provided logistical support, along with student and parent volunteers. It was a great three-way partnership with about 50 volunteers helping to make the day a success.
These tree planting projects serve as a great example of collective action. School President Beth Blaufuss sums up the experience by saying, “The students, parents and faculty who participated got the opportunity to help improve not just their school, but also the environment of the city.”