Putting Roots Down in The Community

Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123 has always had a fantastic partnership with the surrounding community, and now those roots will grow a little deeper.

More than 40 trees from the Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School Tree Nursery will be re-planted around Kolmar, OLHMS, and Covington as well as at Park Lawn School and Center, various Oak Lawn Park District sites, and several residential homes. The 1/6th  acre OLHMS tree nursery located on the northeast corner of the front of the school is a partnership between Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123 the Village of Oak Lawn.

“It is a symbol of ecological and reforestation efforts, a critical element supporting Tree
City designation of urban forestry for the village and a source of curriculum
enhancement through past OLHMS forestry clubs and years of Arbor Day plantings at
our D123 school sites,” said Larry Fetchko, who Co-founded tree nursery in 2012 with then Village Forester Matt Basille.

In addition to our D123 school sites, the nursery tree stock supports planting efforts at
Oak Lawn and Richards High Schools, park district, village sites, residential homes, and at memorial services.

The replanting of the trees around the District 123 classrooms allowed teachers the opportunity to take the lesson outside and see how trees are planted, and the different benefits that come from trees.

“Students at the buildings were so excited to see trees going in the ground, pointing out that we were doing something good for our planet.  Planting those ideals may be the most important part of the project,” said D123 Director of Buildings and Grounds, Leo Cassidy.

The OLHMS Tree Nursery was developed in 2012 as an element of reforestation efforts after the emerald ash borer infestation killed 2000 trees locally. It remains the only school-based tree nursery in the state of Illinois.