Taking Root Plants Trees for Environmental Awareness at Cincinnati Public Schools

Taking Root, with the help of approximately 1,000 students of all ages, planted mature trees in the fall of 2023 at 18 school campuses. The schools were all in the Cincinnati Pubic School system. These trees will:

  • Increase shade
  • Provide habitat for animals and insects
  • Have a positive affect on physical and mental health

These benefits will impact the schools and community for generations to come.

This project also raises awareness in students and teachers about the need for and the benefits of trees — building a community around protecting trees and our natural world. Support for the tree plantings came from:

  •  $20,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation
  • Over $35,000 of donations in labor and goods from Taking Root and our partners.

Cincinnati Schools will be a greener, cooler, healthier, and happier “ecosystem” for current and future students.

Green Schoolyard Action Network Initiative

This massive undertaking is one initiative of the Green Schoolyard Action Network. The goal is “to expand greenspace, environmental education, and farm-to-school opportunities to K-12 students and educators across our region.” To give the trees the best chance to thrive, Taking Root’s horticultural experts visited each school campus to determine optimal tree placement based on sunlight, soil, and topography. Additionally, Taking Root advised school administration on tree selection to reduce impact of pests, such as the Asian Long-horned Beetle.

After the campus assessment, it was time to put the plan into action — and the kids loved it! One school at a time, Taking Root started planting the trees, with labor supplied by Kendrick and O’Dell. From 3-year-olds to high school seniors, the students:

  • Dug the soil (with hands or shovels)
  • Learned about and handled root systems of trees
  • Visited the Boone County Arboretum on Wheels for hands-on learning
  • Discussed benefits of trees
  • Watered the newly planted trees

The students understood that care for their tree was now their responsibility. Some of the schools planned on naming their trees to solidify their relationship.

The tree planting completely aligns with Taking Root’s mission to inspire and empower everyone to conserve and improve our region’s unique and threatened tree canopy. As a non-profit, we could not have done this project without our partners and friends:

  • Natorp’s
  • Kendrick and O’Dell
  • Spring Grove Cemetery
  • Boone County Arboretum
  • Green Umbrella

Schools taking part in the Taking Root planting:

  1. Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies
  2. Bond Hill Academy
  3. Carson Elementary School
  4. Chase School
  5. College Hill Fundamental Academy
  6. Evanston Academy
  7. Frederick Douglas Elementary School
  8. Hays-Porter Elementary School
  9. Midway Elementary School
  10. Rees E. Price Academy
  11. Rising Stars at Carthage
  12. Rising Stars at Aiken
  13. Rising Stars at Vine
  14. Rising Stars at Cheviot/Westwood
  15. Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School
  16. Westwood Elementary School
  17. William H. Taft Elementary School
  18. Woodford Academy

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