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TOPIC: Hahnville High students join fight against coastal erosion by planting trees

Hahnville High students join fight against coastal erosion by planting trees 2 years 3 months ago #254


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Hahnville High students join fight against coastal erosion
Published: Friday, May 11, 2012, 4:35 PM
Jennifer Boquet, The Times-Picayune By Jennifer Boquet, The Times-Picayune

Hahnville High School students are joining the fight against coastal erosion by growing and planting their own coastal vegetation. Although the effort got its official launch this week with the opening of the school's greenhouse, in reality it started about a month ago when students began planting bald cypress trees and other coastal vegetation in the school's science lab.

The Times-PicayuneStudents look over some of the plants in Hahnville High School's new greenhouse during an opening ceremony on Friday in Boutte. The greenhouse was built for growing coastal vegetation, which will include trees and grasses that will be taken and planted in areas where coastal erosion has occurred in the region.

"We're trying to teach students the importance of getting involved in Louisiana's coastal issues," said Mary Hoffmann, an environmental science teacher who spearheaded the effort. "We talk a lot about the coast in class, about some of the problems and the choices we make. I tell them to get involved. Don't think somebody else is going to do it."

Hoffman's classes are now the caretakers for hundreds of cypress and oak trees. She hopes to get mangrove trees as well to teach students about how their root system can aid in coastal restoration.

Brianna Hue, a Hahnville High School junior, said she was surprised how far the trees had come.

"When we got them they just looked like sticks, but they had roots on the bottom," she said. "We spent two days planting trees in the lab. We had no idea what we were doing."

greenhouse2.jpgBrett Duke, The Times-PicayuneHahnville High School junior Brianna Hue talks about bald cypress trees with Carl Rhode, an Entergy Waterford 3 spokesman, during an opening ceremony of the school's new greenhouse on Friday in Boutte. The greenhouse was constructed using a grant from Entergy Nuclear and Waterford 3.


Hue, who plans to become a meteorologist and is involved in the school's Green Club and Wetland Watchers, has more interest than the average high school student in environmental issues.

"I took the class originally because I thought it would be beneficial to me, but I didn't think the other students would be as into it," she said. "It really surprised me how everyone came together."

Hoffman said it will take about two years for the trees the students planted this year to be big enough to replant but when they do she has big plans for them.

"We're going to plant them in needed areas on the west bank of St. Charles Parish. Once they get to a certain size we'll use them to rebuild those areas," she said.

Until then, the plants are being housed in a 96-by-20-foot greenhouse constructed by students using a $7,800 grant from Entergy Nuclear and Waterford 3. The project will be sustained using funds raised by selling ornamental plants and fish, which are also being raised in the greenhouse.

Hope Moore, a senior, had a hand in building the greenhouse, as well as planting the trees. She came back to the campus for the opening, even though seniors are now out of school.

"We learned a lot about growing the trees," she said. "Some of the plants didn't get enough light in the lab, but if you clipped and watered them they would grow again."

Having students take the envirnomental lessons with them once they leave high school is one of the most important goals of the project, said Hahnville Principal Ken Oertling.

"These are the projects that students are involved in that they won't forget," he said. "They're not learning from a textbook and they're not learning in a classroom. They will take this throughout their lives."

He said he believes this is only the beginning of Hahnville's involvement in coastal restoration.

"I know it will grow from here," he said.
www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2012/05...join_f.html#comments
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Jennifer Boquet can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 985.652.0952.
Reward a child for thinking not for storing someone else’s thoughts. Andrew K Fletcher
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Keep your house above water By Simon Thurley 2 years 3 months ago #255


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www.ft.com/cms/s/2/ee59438a-943b-11e1-bb...a.html#axzz1vD0MVBp3

What is so impressive is that rather than giving up, some communities threatened with complete or partial oblivion have been taking matters into their own hands. In places with historic buildings or rich natural habitats, individuals, charitable trusts and now even commercial operators are investing in areas under dire threat of inundation.

"I see these measures as inspirational – and I say this as someone who lives on the sea." Dr Simon Thurley is chief executive of English Heritage
Reward a child for thinking not for storing someone else’s thoughts. Andrew K Fletcher
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