Freshman from Brooklyn's Poly Prep Country Day School rolled up their sleeves in the name of global warming.

As part of the school's annual freshman service day, the group of nine students and two faculty arrived at the Greenbelt Nature Center off Nevada Avenue Friday morning, where they were given a lesson on forest restoration. The students brought potted American elm and sweet gum saplings with them to plant. Greenbelt staff demonstrated how to dig a deep hole, how to properly remove the saplings from their pots, and how to prepare the roots before placing them in the ground.

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For some of the teens, planting a tree was a brand new experience. According to, the students felt a sense of accomplishment and pride for having given back to their enivronment, and everyone had a good time.

With over 35 miles of marked hiking trails, the Staten Island Greenbelt is NYC's largest remaining forest preserve. The 2,800-acre combination of fresh water wetlands, oak and beech forests, open meadows, and rolling hills has served as a peaceful oasis for Islanders since the 1980s.

Posted by Dil Gillani on


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