Approximately 20 people participated in a Clayton County Rotary Club tree-planting project at Clayton County International Park, on Monday. Rotary Clubs around the world have been challenged, by Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee, to plant trees in their communities this year.
Approximately 20 Clayton County Rotarians, Clayton County Parks and Recreation employees, and local Boy Scouts got to spend Monday afternoon playing in the dirt, while also helping improve their environment.
The group was participating in a Rotary Club community service project, which entailed the planting of 50 pine tree seedlings at Clayton County International Park. They dug small holes in a straight line, on a hilltop overlooking the park. They then placed small, approximately one-foot-tall seedlings in the holes.
“It’s a good thing to do, because trees help clean the air,” said Clayton County Rotary Club President Veronica Elie. “There’s been a lot of destruction [of forests around the world], and it’s good to be able to restore [some trees], and give back [to the community], and instill some concern about the environment in these young boys, all at the same time.”
Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee challenged Rotarians around the world to help improve the environment by planting trees this year. Elie explained that Rotary International presidents traditionally issue community service challenges to Rotarians. The tree seedlings that were planted at Clayton County International Park, she added, came from a Georgia Forestry Commission nursery, in Byronville.
Elie said it is not yet clear if the planting of tree seedlings will be an annual project, or just a one-time event.
Ken Sweat, the scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 136, said his troop was willing to participate in the project, because it was a way to help the community. He also said community service projects are important to Boy Scouts, and are required for Scouts to advance in rank. The troop is based in Jonesboro, the scoutmaster added.
“I’ve lived here all of my life, and most of these boys have lived their whole lives here, and it’s a good thing for Scouts to be involved in community service — to give back to their community,” Sweat said. He added that 10 youths from the troop participated in the project.
Zach Reese, the senior patrol leader for Troop 136, said members of the troop have had opportunities, recently, to do community service projects in Atlanta, and Fayette County. He added, however, that invitations to help out in Clayton County do not come along as often.
“We like to help our community, and we don’t get that many chances to help out in our actual community,” Reese said. “This was a good opportunity to help our actual community.”