CAZENOVIA — On Friday, April 30, students at the Rippleton Center in Cazenovia planted 50 donated trees on the property in celebration of Arbor Day.
Located at 3360 Thompson Road, the Rippleton Center is a youth center offering full-day programs for two, three, and four-year-olds, as well as after-school programs and a summer camp for grades K-6.
According to Rippleton Center Executive Director Torrey Lansing, Mark Kicher, the father of one of the center’s preschoolers, facilitated the tree donation.
Kicher works as an arborist representative at Bartlett Tree Experts, a scientific tree and shrub care company that also donated several trees to the center last year.
Kicher’s family has been part of the center since it opened on March 2, 2020.
“We had 40 families enrolled, and then COVID brought us to 10 essential families,” Lansing said on April 27. “We managed to stay open while serving these 10 families. I knew that if I didn’t stay open, the center might not be able to make it. Today, we serve 63 families at the center . . . We have asked family members to join us with their shovels to participate in the tree planting ceremony. We are excited to have family participation since it has been something we have not been able to have during the pandemic.”
Prior to distributing saplings to the children, Kicher delivered a brief presentation on the white pine tree and the importance of Arbor Day.
According to Lansing, the planting event was inspired by the Rippleton Center’s focus on the outdoors.
“Our center is a nature-based school,” she said. “We are located on 20 acres of land. We have a small farm, and the children participate in barn chores daily . . . All of our classrooms enjoy the great outdoors, and we spend a lot of our days learning under trees and finding things in nature to [explore]. The families that bring their children to the center know that we spend time outside in all weather and we are always bringing nature into the classroom. It is a truly unique experience, and we are excited to have this opportunity to plant trees on the property . . . The children at Rippleton Center love the outdoors and have grown to have a respect for nature.”
The director added that the center is in the process of creating a large garden for students to become involved in.
For more information on the Rippleton Center, Visit rippletoncenter.com or call 315-256-8151.