Bowers Academy Spotlight - Tree Project
Special Spotlight: Iman’s Tree Project
This year, Bowers Academy has big plans to bring more trees onto the property and join the Green School Initiative. Led by staff member Iman Jaradi, this project is being done through a nation-wide organization called TreePlenish, which allows schools and communities to work together by raising money for trees in order to be more sustainable. “The biggest goal of it is to offset the carbon emission,” says Iman when asked about the project. “The trees, as we know, when you plant them, they produce oxygen, so that balances out the carbon dioxide we emit from heating and cooling our building.” Through the organization, we can figure out exactly how many trees we will need to reach this goal accurately. “There is a calculator that they give us, they have a link to it, and you input the space of your building and it calculates for you how many tons of carbon you emit per year, and how many trees you need to offset that emission.”
Iman is hoping to get not only the students at Bowers involved, but also the outside community as well. Along with a couple of volunteer students, she has created a webpage that will be shared with the community via social media starting in December in order to gain sponsors for the project. “They could be people, they could be businesses, they could be anyone in the community… that webpage will direct [them] to donate to purchase those trees.” The minimum amount that TreePlenish requires in a location is 50 trees, but Iman wants the impact to be bigger than just our school. “50 trees at 5 dollars each would be $250, which is very doable. But when we set it up, some sponsors can donate up to $1,000.” She also said that if there are too many trees for our property to handle, we can share them with the community. “Whatever we get and we can plant on the farm, we will do that. But anything extra that we decide maybe doesn’t fit… can be donated back to the community. So it can be planted in people’s backyards, or we could reach out to the city and see if we can plant them somewhere public.” The planting event will likely take place in late April or early May, when the weather is most ideal for the trees to grow.
The offset of carbon and the community involvement aren’t the only benefits of this program. Maple sap, similar to the type that is tapped in Johnson Nature Center, will also soon be available at Bowers Farm thanks to TreePlenish. “One of our trees [that we chose] is the Sugar Maple, and we can tap into those trees for sap.” In about 5 years, the trees will be fully grown enough to produce the sap, which can then be collected and utilized on the farm.
For students, families, or any member of the community who is intrigued to help with this project, watch for our webpage, which will be released out to the public in mid-December. More information about the TreePlenish program can be found on their website, https://www.tree-plenish.org