Pine Needles plant Learning Trees

Published 4:03 pm Friday, December 31, 2010

Staff Writer

The Pine Needles Garden Club will team with the Parent Teacher Associations of two schools in order to create better landscapes at the schools for the children.
“Support the Learning Tree Project,” a project promoted by the Pine Needles Garden Club, is partnering with the PTA’s at both John Small Elementary and P.S. Jones Middle schools to promote and support the project to “help great learning take root.”
Crystal Hardt, a representative with the project, said the purpose of the Learning Tree Project is to improve the landscape at John Small and P.S. Jones schools in order to create a welcoming and functional campus.
“The project’s purpose is to improve the landscape at both John Small and P.S. Jones schools by purchasing and planting trees on the new campuses,” Hardt said. “Our goal is to raise money to plant and pay for at least 50 trees on the combined campus.”
According to Hardt, the Pine Needles Garden Club adopted the Learning Tree Project as their commemorative 50th anniversary project. In November, the Beaufort County Board of Education approved the project after working with the Buildings and Grounds Committee for several months to get an agreed-upon plan.
Hardt added that the fundraising phase has already begun and will continue until at least the end of January, depending on the donations, as their goal is to have planting day in early spring.
Hardt said after planting four trees on these campuses for Arbor Day last year, Pine Needles Garden Club realized more trees were needed for these campuses. However, with tight school budgets, there’s not a lot of money left for landscaping.
“This project will help prevent erosion of the top soil, provide shade and a more attractive landscape, and offer students educational opportunities through planting,” Hardt said. “We are working with the Building and Grounds department to have the best plan in place with the trees donated to make this as cost effective to maintain in the future as possible.”
The Pine Needles Garden club, founded in 1961, will promote the donation of trees for the new schools complex for both schools as different varieties of trees will be planted.
“On the planting day, our goal is to have community and school participants help to prepare, plant and mulch trees,” Hardt said. “We want to make this as easy as possible to maintain in the future. To assure this, with the help of the Beaufort County Schools Building and Grounds crew, we will place trees in different locations that work best for all.”
Hardt added along with the fundraising to pay for the trees, Pine Needles Garden Club will organize and facilitate the planting day, and purchase and maintain The Learning Tree display.
“This display will be a plaque located in the main hall of each school to permanently recognize donors, memorials or honoraria,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for gifts for teachers and children.”
Hardt added that others can donate to the project as well. And by donating, it will secure trees planted at the schools, as the Pine Needles Garden Club is partnering with the PTA’s from fall 2010 through spring 2011.
Hardt added a tree can be donated in honor or in memory of someone, and is a great gift for anyone.
“This is also great for businesses to show their support of the schools,” she said. “Recognition of the gift will be in our Learning Tree display located in the school’s hall along with a card sent to the honoree or family members informing them of the gift of a tree at the schools.”
According to Hardt, this is a community project and they hope to get donations throughout the community along with support from local businesses and individuals willing to help on planting day.
When donating, provide your name, address, phone number and e-mail, as well as how much you are donating. Checks should be payable to John Small PTA or P.S. Jones PTA and sent to the respective schools.
For more information, contact Crystal Hardt at 252-974-2798 or send e-mail to
“People can help great learning take root by donating a tree today,” Hardt said.