Celebration of Trees
Grove at Wardcliff School
Thursday, June 1, 2017
3:45pm – 5:30pm
3:45pm – welcome;
4:00pm- educational events & games for children;
5:00pm children’s parade; beat drums, ring bells, & play an instrument
Many members of the Wardcliff School neighborhood have been energized by the idea of planting a fruit orchard near the community garden. This grove would serveto rekindle a “sense of community” in the area amongst diverse citizens in the neighborhood – children, retirees, children with autism who use the Wardcliff building, alumni and retired teachers of Wardcliff Elementary, and possibly area businesses.
The Wardcliff Neighborhood Association and various individuals from Okemos, Haslett, and East Lansing support the idea. A pilot project has been started with five trees, a weeping cherry, two chestnuts and two paw paw trees, that over time would yield fruit to share with the neighborhood and the MSU Food Pantry. A few more trees and berry bushes will be planted in the fall. The weeping cherry tree is dedicated to Laurel Hanson from our neighborhood who passed away last year.
We envision the Wardcliff Grove to be a place for annual alumni gatherings, a nexus for graduates, teachers, and parents with fond memories of this place. Thus, we hope the idea of the Grove will be the foundation to renew a sense of community in our neighborhood.
Seed money came from funds donated by colleagues at MSU for Esther Onaga’s retirement. The Hansen family purchased the weeping cherry tree. Several individuals have offered to donate funds to the project. Additional funds are needed to cultivate the plantings, install deer deterrents, soil maintenance, pruning, and provision for replacement trees in case some do not survive.
Anyone wishing to contribute funds to this endeavor may do so by writing a check to “Okemos Public Schools,” and mailing to:
Okemos Public Schools
The Wardcliff Grove
c/o Elizabeth Lentz, Director of Finance
4406 N. Okemos Rd.
Okemos, MI 48864
Please write “Wardcliff Grove” on your check, and include your mailing address, since donors will receive a letter from Okemos Public Schools as a record of the donation for the IRS.