With fanfare from trumpets played by sixth graders Brian Melton and David Rock, Haycock Elementary School planted the seeds for a new tradition at the school — the celebration of Arbor Day.
"This is the time we can appreciate trees most because this is when they start to sprout and get new leaves," said Haycock fifth grader Ned Burchfiel, 11.
Burchfiel also wrote a limerick that he read during the Arbor Day ceremony held on the lawn at the side of the school for its 575 students and guests from Fairfax County and the McLean Citizens Association (MCA).
"Without trees, we could not survive. Trees are what keep us alive. With beauty and style, They span mile by mile — A tree is where true nature thrives," was an excerpt from Burchfiel's limerick.
"I like the rhyming sequence. Trees give us beauty. Without trees, McLean would be boring," said Burchfiel.
THE MCA AGREED, as its Trees Committee donated 15 trees to Haycock Elementary. "We wanted trees that are attractive to look at and friendly to birds. They will eat the holly berries," said MCA Trees Committee chairman Richard "Dick" Poole, a nearly 40-year McLean resident.
"We also wanted a variety," said Poole, noting there are Fosters Holly trees, Pin Oaks and Magnolias newly planted at Haycock. The Fosters Holly can grow up to about 30 feet tall. "It grows about two feet a year," said Poole. The Pin Oaks are "named for the leaves with sharp points. They keep their leaves through most of the winter," he said.
Haycock principal Jay McClain pointed to a Pin Oak where the students were standing during the assembly. "That Pin Oak replaces the one that was struck by lightning," said McClain. "The grandchildren of our kindergartners and first graders will be able to see these same trees," he said.
Haycock first grader Kristen Halsey, 6, read her poem about trees and later said, "I was kind of nervous. Trees give us paper," she added.
Trees also produce the wood for baseball bats, said Haycock fifth grader Alex Rosenbaum, a little leaguer who roots for the New York Mets. "I like the crack of the bat," said Rosenbaum.
McCLAIN THANKED Board of Supervisors chairman Kate Hanley (D-At Large) for her attendance, as well as Poole and Diane D' Arcy from the MCA.
D' Arcy said the donation of the trees was possible in part because of the money raised from the parkout — the money raised from the recyclables collected at Cooper Middle School.
"This is a culmination of the parkout process," said Haycock parent Anne Rosenbaum of Falls Church, mother to Alex and Chris Rosenbaum. "Chris helped with the planting and the watering of the trees," said Rosenbaum of her son, 7, a Haycock first grader.
"It's great all these trees were donated to us because it teaches us how trees are a part of the life cycle," said Haycock sixth grader Hannah Bryan, 12, of Falls Church. Bryan also donated to the school, sage that she grew from seeds. "It takes seven days to germinate and one month to reach full height," she said.
"It's good to see the children enthusiastic," said Poole. "We're not finished, but this is a very good beginning. We plan to plant evergreen shrubs and leafy evergreens to shield the parking area," he said.