Unquowa students plant seeds of tomorrow

Eighth-graders from Unquowa School recently branched out in their studies -- out of the building and into the woods.

Twenty-one Unquowa students each planted a White Oak tree at Connecticut Audubon Society's Center at Fairfield, a project organized by Stephen and Marilyn Halas, school parents who have helped organize service activities in the past.

"The Unquowa School motto is the future is in our care," said Marilyn Halas. "I think there is no better way to live that credo than to let our students feel the earth in their fingers as they each plant a White Oak tree. The Halas family hopes that their trees and their efforts to care for our community continue to grow and provide both shelter and inspiration to future generations."

"We work with the Center at Fairfield throughout the school year to create meaningful ways for our students to learn about our environment and to help them become active stewards of the woods and brooks on our school campus," said Sharon Lauer, head of Unquowa School. "We're delighted that our students have this experience of establishing this grove of native trees as a way of supporting Connecticut Audubon Society's efforts to protect natural habitats."

Organizers hope the project will become an annual tradition for graduating Unquowa eighth graders.

Don Kuhn of Kuhn Complete Landscaping in Fairfield provided the trees, who said he was pleased to support the students "as they work to restore native species to our town."

"It is wonderful that the Unquowa School has chosen our Center at Fairfield to be the recipient of this magnificent living gift of White Oak trees, which will enhance our Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary and provide shelter and habitat to birds and other wildlife for many years to come," said Nelson North, Connecticut Audubon Society's director of Fairfield operations. "We deeply appreciate the generosity of the Halas Family, Unquowa School and Kuhn Complete Landscaping.

"Our organization is based on the belief that every person, young and old, can make a difference in how the greater community perceives and protects our natural environment, and today's tree planting was a wonderful example of our mission in action," he said.