Camelback High School students are contributing to the greater good of the community by planting trees on campus and beyond (photo courtesy of Phoenix Union High School District).

On Nov. 30, Camelback High School hosted partners from Trees Matter and Meritage Homes to plant 30 brand-new trees on campus. This event was part of an effort by Camelback to increase shade and tree coverage across the campus.

The event began in the morning, and 30-plus volunteers joined over a hundred students to finish digging holes and plant trees across the campus. At the start of the event, Principal James Arndt remarked that increasing tree coverage on campus and making more shade for students and community members was a priority and then gave special recognition to two teachers who have led the way in tree planting efforts over the last two years.

“This tree planting event through the Trees Matter organization is a critical piece of how our students can contribute to the greater good of our community and future,” Erick Munoz, a student and the school sustainability officer, noted at the event. “The city of Phoenix has very large goals for increasing our tree canopy, including a city-wide goal of planting 376,000 trees each year. Trees help us save energy, promote cleaner and cooler air in our city, combat climate change, conserve water, and so much more. Studies have shown that trees help community development, increase happiness, and even help students learn better. So, while we are planting trees and learning about their impact, the trees themselves will be contributing back to our education too.”

The event was coordinated by teachers Holly Finch and Tori Simpson, who have applied for dozens of grants over the past three years that have resulted in more than 70 trees being planted across campus, along with partnerships that have helped students learn more about sustainability and creating more shade across the city.

Camelback students also joined the Arizona Sustainability Alliance and partners American Forests and Bank of America on Dec. 7 to help plant trees at Solano Park, 5625 N. 17th Ave.


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