BY KELLI GILE
Diamond Bar — The front landscaping at Quail Summit Elementary School now includes eight new trees planted last week. The lush green Japanese Maples, Camphor, and Australian Willows were made possible through a donation from the Great Enlightenment Lotus Society. On March 11, the school held a ceremony attended by district and local officials to thank the non-profit organization.
“It is a great opportunity for Quail Summit Elementary and the District to receive this generous tree donation from the Great Enlightenment Lotus Society and at the same time, to educate our kids about the importance and meaning of tree planting for our future,” said Walnut Valley Unified School District Board Member Dr. Y. Tony Torng.
Quail Summit 4th and 5th Grade student representatives joined the planting celebration by drawing pictures and writing thank you cards for the event.
“It’s very important when someone gives you a gift that we say thank you,” said Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo.
Student Body President 5th Grader, Brianna Hernandez, presented a poster and some fun facts about trees. “With all the electronics we have in this era, sometimes it’s just nice to sit under a tree and read a book. I’m proud to represent my fellow Quails to show that we care and love our trees. We appreciate your help and sponsorship in planting these trees and beautifying our school,” she said.
Another Quail Summit student, 4th Grader Kenzie Wilson, accompanied by 5th Grader Mara Firtat, sang an original song about beautiful trees. Then all the students gathered around the last new tree and began planting with rich soil.
Lead Grounds Maintenance Worker, Gene Kennebrew, shared information about the species, including its growth potential to a towering 75 feet. “This is a Camphor tree and these were originally from Eastern Asia. They were brought to Florida in about 1875. They are excellent for shade and have a nice aroma,” he said.
“We are very happy here today to have Quail Summit Elementary students join us for this great event. When we realize the benefit of the forest, the tree-planting ceremony is very important and meaningful for our society and work,” said William Shen, Treasurer of the Bliss and Wisdom Foundation of North America, the organization that founded the Great Enlightenment Lotus Society. Shen was presented with certificates from the Offices of Senator Bob Huff and Assemblyman Curt Hagman.
“I’m not sure if you know it or not, but Diamond Bar is a designated Tree City,” said Jody Roberto, Senior Field Representative for Senator Huff. “And your school is contributing to that. You’re lucky to be at this beautiful school,” she added.