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Lansing Rotary Club Donates Trees to LCSD

In the spring of 2018, Dennis Osika approached the Lansing Central School District as a representative of the Lansing Rotary Club.  The Rotary Club was looking to do a project to improve the district’s facilities.  It took many meetings with various school personnel, but over a year later, the project finally came to fruition. 

The Rotary Club generously donated seven trees to be planted at Raymond C. Buckley Elementary School.  The donated trees include Northern Red Oaks, ‘Red Sunset’ Red Maples, Pin Oaks, a Bloodgood London Plane and a Silver Maple. 

When Osika first pitched the idea to district officials, he stressed the importance of adding large plants, such as trees, to the district to improve air quality and increase oxygen production. He noted that over time, with the appropriate placement, the elementary building would be provided with more shade, thus increasing energy efficiencies.  And, ultimately, the district campus would be more beautiful as a result of the increased greenery and foliage. 

The project was met with support and excitement; however, there were some obstacles along the way.  First off – finding the best placement for the trees.  The District’s campus grounds are full of utilities (water, phone, gas, fiber network, etc.) and some of the better placements for shade and aesthetics were not feasible as a result.

Once locations were found and approvals obtained, it was necessary to wait until the spring of 2019 to actually purchase and plant the trees. Mr. Osika was generous in sharing his many years of knowledge regarding facilities and trees and assisted the district by providing tree varieties that would be appropriate. 

Spring is an extremely busy time of year for the Facilities Department at any school district.  Fields and athletic facilities need to be mowed daily for all the physical education classes and the many athletic events that take place every day. 

With such a very wet spring, it was difficult to find a day the crew could finally dig and plant. Ultimately, it was a team effort that got the job done. With coordination from the Town of Lansing Recreation Department, the district’s facilities crew, Mr. Don Wells of the Rotary Club, and a few of our students to help throw on the last bit of dirt, the trees were finally planted. The trees are a beautiful addition to the campus, and the Lansing community looks forward to watching them grow and flourish over the years. 

Article and photos provided by Kathryn Heath.