Earth Rise Sustainability Club Sells 400+ Trees to offset paper use

The students’ welcome was as warm as the spring sunshine. Over two dozen members of the Earth Rise Sustainability Club gathered in front of John Jay High School on Saturday, April 23, to deliver 455 preordered dogwood, crab apple and maple trees to community members along with friendly smiles.

The tree distribution was part of an initiative called Tree-Plenish, designed to offset an organization’s paper use. It was the club’s big project this year. “Our goal was 260 trees,” said the club’s co-president Victoria Fenton who was checking in customers. “We almost doubled it!”

students committed to climate action

Teacher and club advisor Jill Hirshfeld describes the students as young people committed to climate action and enthusiastic about the tree initiative. "We're trying to take responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in and planting trees in good soil is one of the easiest and most powerful ways we can make a difference," said Hirshfeld. "It's been great to see so many members of the community come forward to support the effort. There's really so much we can do if we work together."

“It’s a misconception that climate justice is complicated and hard,” said co-president Caroline Bois. “It’s not! We just need to give back to the earth as much as we take.”

Lucy Landzberg, another leader in the club, said that she tries to consider the environmental impact of all of her personal decisions, including what she eats and when she drives. “Change starts on a granular scale,” she said. “The first thing is to start with yourself.”

The rising president of Earth Rise Sustainability Club, Carolina Cerna, loved the community outreach aspect of selling trees. “I want to try my best to make my impact bigger than the school.”

The event also went beyond tree distribution. Freshman Austin Omin, a member of the club who has been attending the Town of Lewisboro board meetings for the last three years as a student liaison, was there selling composting kits for the Town of Lewisboro’s new Food Scrap Recycling Program.