Last summer, Ms. Terri Thacker attended a Teacher workshop called FIT which stands for Forestry Institute for Teachers (www.forestryinstitute.org). At this workshop, she met Mike De Lasaux, a Natural Resource Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, who directs the FIT program and the acorn planting story started . . .
Terri contacted Mike to ask about help for a Community Service project that she wanted her students to do. Mike said he would help her, so he used Google Earth to determine potential oak planting sites near the Arcade Fundamental Middle School. The Haggin Oaks Golf Complex jumped out as the closest, so Mike sent an inquiry to see if there was interest. He then met Stacy Baker, Golf Course Superintendent at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, to discuss the potential of planting several oak seedlings on the golf course property and a Community Service project opportunity to Ms. Thacker’s 7th and 8th graders. With agreement to develop the project from the golf course, Mike and Terri developed a couple of environmental education grants to help purchase materials necessary to grow the seedlings. Mike also contacted the Morton Golf Foundation to ask if they would be interested in a small grant to use as a grant match and help this dream to become a reality. The Morton Golf Foundation is always looking for ways to help children with education and to provide a healthy outdoor environment. They approved the grant and the project was off and running. The match was important to receiving a grant from Project Learning Tree’s GreenWorks grant program.
Teacher Terrie Thacker had her 7th & 8th grade class at Arcade Fundamental Middle School gather acorns. They then put the acorns in water to see which ones would float or which ones would sink. If the acorn sank, that meant it would likely germinate. They then put the acorns in sandy soil and watered them regularly to wait for the roots to appear. The students were excited and celebrated when the acorns germinated.
When Ms. Thacker’s students had 50 acorns with roots, it was time to contact Stacy Baker at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex to let him know it was time to plant the seedlings. Stacy then got his crew to dig 50 holes 18” deep in an open greenbelt area off of Hole # 7 on the MacKenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks. The students came out to plant on Friday, December 4, 2015. Future golfers should know that these 50 newly planted seedlings are in a greenbelt area that will never come into play on the golf course!
Ms. Thacker and her students will be coming back to the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex next March to check on the seedlings survival and growth. In the meantime, Stacy Baker and his crew at Morton Golf will also continually check on the seedlings to offer water when needed in hopes of the seedlings taking root.
Stacy Baker has commented that he hopes Haggin Oaks will get at least 3 to 6 big trees out of this project.
We all hope that this helped Ms. Thacker and her students implement their Community Service project and provided them with the knowledge of tree growth. Hopefully, Ms. Thacker’s future classes will do more tree planting projects at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex too.