SHELLSBURG, Iowa (KWWL) – Students at Shellsburg Elementary got some outdoor learning Thursday as they planted more than 40 trees on the west end of the schoolyard.
The trees were planted as a windbreak to protect the school and schoolyard from the elements coming across the vast fields and also increase energy efficiency. Windbreaks can be helpful in keeping wind from whisking away the hot and cold air in your home or business you’ve paid money for.
Shellsburg Elementary was able to complete the project through a grant from Alliant Energy and Trees Forever. That grant was obtained by the Shellsburg Area Community Group.
“Kids love being outside and they love learning in an outside environment,” said Ryan Davis, Principal of Shellsburg Elementary.
The schoolchildren had some help from the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA, the Shellsburg Area Community Group (SACG) and Frazier Nursery in planting the trees.
Dodging the raindrops, they managed to plant quite a few of the trees. However, dark clouds to the west brought in a downpour. That downpour didn’t end the kids’ fun, instead they just kept working away to get all the trees planted before lunchtime.
The new trees will replace a windbreak that had served its useful life.
“We had one that was there before that was planted in 1978. The trees had gotten diseased and were looking bad. It was time to take those down,” said Davis.
What made the project even better for the small school: it didn’t cost anything.
“Between the grant and community volunteers, it was all free to us,” said Davis.
The grant covered the cost of purchasing the trees from Frazier Nursery in Vinton.
The old windbreak was planted by Shellsburg students more than 40 years ago and now the current students will be able to go by the school decades from now and see the hard work they put in.
The original plan was to have each grade come out and plant a few trees, however the rain changed those plans. SACG had plans of planting more trees in town and invited the classes that didn’t get to plant at the school to assist in those future plantings.