Nash Community College, the Town of Nashville and Nashville Elementary School celebrated Arbor Day on Sept. 24 by planting an orchard at the elementary school.
“The collaborative effort is part of a plan to fund the planting of a multi-fruit orchard on the campus,” NCC biology instructor Christine Ricci said. “Not only did this serve to plant the orchard for the elementary school but also served as an opportunity to celebrate Arbor Day for the Town of Nashville, a Tree City.”
The Town of Nashville became a Tree City in 2019. Typically, Arbor Day is celebrated in April, but it can be celebrated at any time based on the best tree planting time for a region.
Nash Community College has held the distinction of Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for many years for its commitment to effective urban forest management and for engaging employees and students in conservation goals.
NCC Master Gardener Ken White provided expertise in selecting the appropriate trees for the site and guidance on where and how to plant them. The Nashville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services provided the funding through an N.C. Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry grant program.
Nash Community College biology students assisted Nashville Elementary Outdoor/STEM teacher Marguerite Bishop’s class in planting the trees.
“This has been a true community partnership. The grant is an ongoing process with future research opportunities available for both Nashville Elementary students and NCC students,” Ricci said.
The grant also will allow the town to conduct a tree risk inventory, and canopy cover inventory as well as a survey of the urban forest demographics. NCC students will assist with future efforts to analyze the town’s urban forest make-up and its impact.