When Tour des Trees, a week-long cycling tour raising awareness for the TREE Fund, ended their trip in Nashville on September 20, Root Nashville organized a celebratory learning event for the students of Hull-Jackson Montessori and cyclists to enjoy together.
The event kicked off with an interactive presentation from the one-and-only Professor Pricklethorn. The “Prof” is a cyclist in Tour des Trees who leads a special show about how trees function, the importance of planting the right tree in the right place, the benefits trees bring humans, and photosynthesis. By the end of the presentation, the third- and fourth-graders in attendance were chanting “right tree, right place” in unison and singing “all we are saying, is give trees a chance.”
Students headed outside for station activities from Root Nashville and our friends at the Nashville Tree Foundation: writing “poetree” and reasons why they love trees, running with their peers in a “treelay” race, scouring the landscape to complete a biodiversity scavenger hunt, measuring temperatures with infrared thermometers, tracing leaf shapes found in nature, and more.
Then, all the Tour des Trees riders arrived at the school, pedaling right up to the festivities. Students cheered their loudest as the cyclists pulled in, jumping up and down. Principal Cantrell called the group together on a megaphone for our tree blessing. Professor Pricklethorn led the group in a small ceremony blessing two Kentucky coffeetrees, generously donated by Tour des Trees to Hull-Jackson Montessori. Root Nashville is taking care of the trees until the weather cools, and will return for a planting.
So what did students take away from all this fun? Here are some of the notes written by students in response to the prompt “What Do You Love About Trees?”:
- I like trees because they give oxygen.
- I love trees because they smell like nature and I love the smell of nature.
- What I like about trees is that they are home for cute animals.
- I like the apples they have.
- I love trees because they give us maple syrup.
Stay tuned for photos of our return to Hull-Jackson Montessori later this fall, and additional resources on our website for teachers and administrators to use trees in the classroom. Special thanks to Hull-Jackson Montessori, especially Principal Cantrell and Assistant Principal Dr. Miles, Nashville Tree Foundation, and the riders of the TREE Fund for working with us to put this special event together.