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TLC’s Bitternut Hickory Part of Campus Beautification

At The Learning Center (TLC), students took the opportunity during Lexington’s fifth annual Tree Week to spruce up their campus – removing a dead, decaying tree behind the building and replacing it with a bitternut hickory sapling. TLC is among 14 sites in Fayette County Public Schools participating in “Planting with the Principal” with partners from Trees Lexington! and LFUCG Urban Forestry. 

“We need to increase our urban tree canopy, and schools have to be a part of that,” said Tresine Logsdon, the district’s energy and sustainability coordinator.

Logsdon, who coordinates and attends all the plantings, guides the outdoor conversation during the half-hour project. For instance, she asked TLC students to call out reasons for planting a tree. Answers? For more oxygen, animal habitat, food, beauty, cool shade. The hands-on work connects strongly to classroom curriculum as students realize the various benefits, such as the environmental effects, aesthetic improvements, and the feel-good sense of simply enjoying nature.

Planting a tree also has a long-term impact at a school. “We have 12th graders helping leave a legacy and eighth graders who will have years of taking care of the tree,” said TLC math teacher Tony Brusate, who talked of how they will mulch and tend to the sapling through the seasons to ensure it thrives.

Campus beautification was the students’ idea for this fall’s Working Wednesdays, which provides some practical experience on alternate weeks. The seniors did the research and put together presentations on the six tree options, and the majority voted for the bitternut hickory. The eighth graders are also refurbishing the TLC front entrance, making sure their campus is inviting for students and visitors. “We just want to make our school look more appealing,” said eighth grader Ben Fiero.

Classmate Bella Kemp noted that students have added colorful flowers to the long planter boxes and they plan to paint the round flowerpots, too. TLC is also reaching out to a sister city in Japan in hopes of trading a bur oak (Lexington’s official tree) for a cherry blossom tree. “Having a tree will show our connection to each other,” Bella said.

Districtwide Video Slideshow (courtesy of Tresine Logsdon)

"Planting with the Principal" Participants

Our schools are working hard into early November!

  • Deep Springs - beech
  • Dixie Magnet - shellbark hickory
  • Garden Springs - post oak
  • Garrett Morgan - swamp white oak
  • Henry Clay High - swamp white oak
  • Julius Marks - beech
  • Meadowthorpe - sycamore
  • Northern - TBD
  • Rise STEM Academy - TBD
  • Rosa Parks - post oak
  • Southern Elementary - TBD
  • Squires - TBD
  • TLC - bitternut hickory
  • Winburn Middle - beech

Posted Oct. 12, 2022