Washington High School has a new arboretum.
Starting in the late fall of 2020, Washington High School staff, students, parents, and alumni began planting trees on the campus, the majority on the hill near the corner of Forest Drive and Cottage Grove Avenue. Initiated in response to the devastation of the August 2020 derecho, the project has expanded to offer the site-based learning opportunities of an arboretum.
The Arboretum now includes 29 tree species, many of them native trees beneficial to songbirds and pollinators. Each tree has been thoughtfully selected and located and then identified by means of a small descriptive plaque. Student members of the Washington High School Green Team, under the direction of science teacher J.P. Graham, have taken the lead on watering and caring for the trees as they establish themselves.
Trees have been donated by the WHS Classes of 1975, 1976, 1984, 1986, and 1987, the Rotary Club of Linn County, and the Washington HS IJAG Program. Three of the trees in the Arboretum have been planted in memoriam for classmates and students who have been lost. According to project coordinator David Duer, “This project has provided the community with an opportunity to transform the tragedy of the derecho into the legacy of an arboretum.”
Images Below, Washington High School students, staff, and parents taking care of the trees