Shawnee students to plant tree saplings to help offset energy use

Shawnee High School students will help offset their school’s energy consumption by planning to plant saplings in the yards of local residents.

In partnership with the non-profit Tree-Plenish, the students will plant saplings around the county during an event from 9 a.m. to noon on May 6.

“Planting trees is a small act that can have a big impact not only on our environment but also on each of the students who participate in the event,” said environmental science teacher Elizabeth Allen.

Under the direction of Allen, students calculated how much carbon the school emits during an academic year and converted the amount into a number of saplings. The goal is to plant 900 saplings, which will replace 1,080 tons of carbon.

“We often focus on the negative environmental problems in our world,” Allen said. “With this project, I want to share something positive with students that will encourage them to get out into the world to be a part of the solution.”

This is the first time the school is hosting this event, which Allen started planning last summer when several teachers forwarded her an email about the Tree-Plenish program. Once school started last fall, she asked the environmental students and biological science teacher Kristin Meeks to help create the event.

“After doing research on the program and its impact on communities across the nation, I wanted to bring the program to Clark County,” she said.

Allen said she’s proud to be involved in this program and to see the impact it will make on the community.

“I think lots of us want to make good choices for the environment, but those choices are often very difficult or too expensive. Planting these saplings is not and want to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved,” she said. “I love that our school and my students are positively impacting our environment today and for future generations.”

Tree-Plenish is a student led non-profit organization that empowers them to create a more sustainable and equitable future through community tree planting.

The students are inviting anyone in the community to order a sapling for their property or volunteer on the day of the event.

“Clark-Shawnee is the only school in the county doing it, and we would love to get as many people involved as possible. The more trees we sell the more volunteers we will need to plant the trees,” Allen said.

Saplings of red maple, white oak or eastern redbud will be available to purchase through April 6. To purchase a sapling or volunteer to plant, visit

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