Eisenhower Middle School eighth-grade students celebrated Earth Day last Tuesday by helping to beautify the community, and had a good time to boot.
"We decided we want to do an activity to beautify something in the community," teacher Jim Penley said. They focused on Werner Park, along Route 62, and with the help of Mike English, they divided into groups for several projects, he said.
"The big thing is to be actively engaged in the community. One group of kids moved rocks and sticks along a path people use to walk their dogs, so they will be able to stay on the path," he said.
"Another group of kids did a general clean-up, picking up branches that fell over the winter."
Penley said that a third group planted lilys and cleared saplings, leaves and weeds from annual flower beds. Mulch was spread in the beds and around playground equipment, and high-traffic areas were raked.
He said that the students followed their normal school routine in the morning, then spent several hours at the park. "We packed up at 2:30 and headed back to Eisenhower. The kids worked, but they were outside. They enjoyed it," he said.
A couple of years ago, the whole middle school did a similar project, he said, "We would like to expand the project again next year."