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City spreads green awareness
Annual Arbor Day celebration ends week of Earth-friendly activities
go green pic1
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Fourth grade students from Walnut Elementary School help plant over 48 trees in the storm basin located behind the school during the city’s Arbor Day celebration on Friday. The 48 trees planted by the students were left over from a group of 362 trees purchased from a grant. City staff planted 312 trees before Friday’s Arbor Day celebration outlining the storm basin to leave an open area for soccer games to continue. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal

Along with the normal reading and writing lessons, Turlock students learned about conservation and environmental stewardship this week as part of the city's "Go Green" campaign.

“(Students) had never wondered where things went when the toilet got flushed,” said Ken Oyer, a fifth grade teacher at Julien Elementary. “The students are into the conservation mode now. They are learning how important every drop of water is and how recycling saves energy and materials.”

Schools that took on the ‘go green’ challenge included Crowell Elementary, Cunningham Elementary, Brown Elementary, Walnut Elementary, Osborn Elementary, Dutcher Middle School, Pitman High and Turlock High.

Most schools that participated had a special presentation or activity every day this week, as well as a recycling contest to raise green awareness, said Toni Cordell, City of Turlock Go Green coordinator.

This is the third year the City has put on their “Go Green Week” campaign, as they continue to reach out to all schools within the district.

Medeiros Elementary School was the first school to participate in this campaign in 2008. That first year the program focused on activities to educate students about the importance of being environmentally responsible. They learned about conservation, pollution prevention, recycling, composting and waste reduction. Medeiros also started the week-long recycling contest and the “Wear Green Day” event.

The second year of the program gained ground to seven elementary schools in the district, reaching to over 5,500 students. The main activities in 2009 featured a campus tree planting at Cunningham Elementary, a lady bug release at Walnut Elementary and a district-wide recycling contest that brought in more than 11,200 pounds of recycled material.

This year, the program has reached over 8,300 students, with at least one class in every grade covered by the “Go Green Week” campaign. Students at Dutcher Middle School had a campus tree planting and Walnut provided their students with go green presentations every single day this week. Students also supported going green by wearing their best green shirt on Wednesday for a district-wide “Wear Green Day.”

“Our children are now more than ever aware of the importance of caring not only for our resources in Turlock, but also as citizens of our planet Earth,” said Bret Sutterley, Walnut Elementary go green week school liaison.

Even though every year the program grows and adds new activities, every “Go Green Week” ends with a celebration of Arbor Day with the planting of trees.

Four fourth grade classes from Walnut Elementary School planted 48 trees on Friday in the storm basin off of Walnut Road and Christoffersen Parkway. The trees that the City of Turlock planted were made possible due to the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation grant provided by the Department of Transportation. The grant sponsored over 362 trees, 312 of which were previously planted before the Arbor Day Celebration.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.