Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA) was recently awarded a Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree Planting Grant of $5,000 for a project that will involve planting native trees on Bristol Consolidated School property and educating students and community members about the critical importance of native vegetation to the health of ecosystems. The project dovetails with the school’s existing plan to improve its grounds, and it also aligns with an existing PWA program at the school – the Maine Apprentice Gardeners Program — where PWA volunteers teach students about gardening.

Jennifer Ribeiro, Principal at Bristol Consolidated School, said, “We are excited to have native trees and shrubs planted on school grounds as part of the grant writing efforts of the Pemaquid Watershed Association. The UPS native tree grant will provide a much needed and welcomed upgrade to the school property next spring. Gardening and local agriculture is an important part of our K-8 programming. The school board, administration and staff are fully supportive of this grant and the positive impact it will have on our school and community.” The planning and implementation of the project are being led by PWA volunteers Bonnie Potter and Linda Shaffer.

A primary aim of the Keep America Beautiful/UPS grant program is to emphasize the importance of native trees. The program also links Keep America Beautiful affiliates with local UPS employees who will provide volunteer support to plant the trees. Since 2012, The UPS Foundation and UPS employees have planted more than 3 million trees across 47 countries to support the environment.

Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people prevent litter, reduce waste, increase recycling, and protect the natural beauty of the environment. PWA – a conservation organization that takes care of the land and water of the Pemaquid Peninsula – became the first Maine Affiliate of KAB last year, launching its Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful initiative.

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