43 students from Mountain Ridge High School planted 80 native trees to establish an Arboretum and Outdoor Classroom near the track and below the Rain Garden. The trees were purchased utilizing funds from a Maryland Department of Transportation Department (MDOT) grant. The $5,000 grant allowed the school to purchase 20 different species of native flowering and shade trees, as well as cages to protect them from the wildlife in the area. One sign for each species has been purchased and will be placed in the arboretum. The next phase of the project will include installing a gravel Outdoor Classroom with 8 picnic tables. Mountain Ridge High School will also apply for the Maryland DNR - People Loving and Nurturing Trees (PLANT) Award.
Thank you to the administration at the school and school system, the students, Mr. Carter, the principal, Dr. VanSlyke, science supervisor, and Mr. Kozikowski, a science teacher, who helped make the tree planting event a success. Special thanks to the Allegany County Forestry Board; Adam Miller, Forester, Allegany Project, MD Forest Service, DNR; Anna Twigg, Tree Planting Specialist, MD Forest Service, DNR; and Katherine Phillips, Tree Planting Specialist, Allegany and Garrett County, MD Forest Service, DNR for assistance with the grant and the planting event.