A variety of different trees and colour dot the landscape along the west and south sides of the Ponoka Elementary School yard after planting the 28 trees were completed. Photo submitted

Tree project is made to make shade

A total of 28 trees were planted at Ponoka Elementary

A year of planning and preparation on a project that started as a way to improve some shade has finally paid off this month.

Vanessa Clark kicked off the Ponoka Elementary School Tables and Trees Project back in September of 2018 to get tables installed and new trees planted around the school yard.

On Oct. 11, a total of 28 trees were planted.

“I was so happy to finally see this project come into fruition,” stated Clark in an email.

“It will be exciting to watch the trees mature in the coming years, especially around the playground areas to provide shade to students.”

The trees were selected primarily on their ability to tolerate drought conditions, with some colour variation added to create a better visual appeal to the area.

There was one hiccup in the project — the funding application to the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) wound up not making the cut, as according to Clark, there were a high number of applications sent in and this project was not among the higher priority projects.

“So, I found myself working with half of the budget from the original plan,” Clake added.

“Luckily, the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Ponoka gave the thumbs up to move forward with their funding along with funds from Ponoka County, ATB Financial and myself.”

Another CFEP application has been submitted by Clark in hopes of being able to plant more trees and add some tables in the future.

Clark is grateful to everyone for their generosity and issued a heart-felt thank you to all of the donors. This included donors that provided the wood for the tree boxes, students at PSC that assembled them, the Ponoka Elementary school council and the former principal that supported the project and Cam Rice for the free upgrade to large pine and spruce trees.

“They really made this project possible,” she said.

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Some frost greeted those working to plant the trees on one of the days earlier this month. Photo submitted

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