MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Science students at Cloquet middle and high schools celebrated Arbor Day by planting 500 trees in their school forest and outdoor classroom on Friday.
School officials say the ninth-grade students have been studying their school forest and researching how climate change can affect its health and longevity.
With help from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and using the plant selector tool from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, they determined which trees to plant for future climate conditions.
According to DNR forester, Thor Pakosz, he helped the students select a mix of white pine, white spruce, bur oak, swamp white oak, silver maple, chokecherry, serviceberry, nannyberry and other species.
According to Pakosz, the students geotagged each seedling to create detailed maps that record the species and location of each tree and shrub for future observation.
"The students put a great deal of time into selecting a mix of species for their site conditions and goals, along with cultural and aesthetic interests," Pakosz said. "Current students learned how to select and properly plant the trees, and future students will care for and continue to study their growth and resiliency in a changing climate."
In Minnesota, Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, and the entire month of May is dedicated as Arbor Month. DNR officials say it is an opportunity to celebrate trees and the benefits they offer.
There are currently 111 Tree City USA designations in Minnesota.
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