Huffines MS students plant trees, enjoy school day at L.L. Woods Park

Students of Huffines Middle School roll the root ball of a bur oak tree into a hole with the help of City of Lewisville foreman Mike Farr this past Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Huffines Middle School)

Staff Reports

Students from Lewisville’s Huffines Middle School spent Tuesday at L.L. Woods Park, planting trees and engaging in outdoor learning.

Seventh grade math teacher Jennifer Dunham said the idea for the day came about when she was getting ready to teach financial literacy to the kids. She wanted to incorporate them giving back to the city.

“The idea started with us raising money to purchase playground equipment,” said Dunham.

“[Reading and language arts teacher Riana] Ramirez and I met with the Director of Parks and Leisure to discuss our goal. Through that meeting and learning about Lewisville’s 2025 Vision, we all decided that trees would be the best way to make a positive investment in the community.”

Huffines students, parents, and staff raised $2,975 to pay for the 18 bur oak trees that the students planted at L.L. Woods Park. Students grabbed shovels and got to work after a quick class by City of Lewisville foreman Mike Farr.

Dunham said the students raised money by asking their parents, family members, and friends. “The staff and school organizations saw how excited the students were and started helping too!” she said. “We also reached out to Huffines Chevrolet Lewisville.”

“I also think some of the motivation came from us displaying paper trees up in the hallway,” said Dunham. “Once we raised enough money for one tree, the kids would put up a tree.”

In addition to planting trees Tuesday, the students rotated through learning stations that teachers set up.

“I love this because each teacher presenting their content lesson incorporated information about the trees (Bur Oak) or the city [of Lewisville],” said Dunham.

A science station taught by science teacher Jason Kitchen focused on Punnett Squares and the genetics of a bur oak.

A math station taught by Kimberly Coppens focused on central tendencies and word problems about the Bur Oak.

English and language arts, taught by Ramirez, focused on writing a poem about being outside, and observations of the trees, the grass, and the weather.

A history station taught by teacher Daniel Donegan focused on the history of Lewisville.
“I think the students learned about teamwork and making a positive investment in their community,” said Dunham. “They have already claimed their trees— the ones they planted, which expresses a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

The students had class in the rotations at the park from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.; ate lunch there from 11:30-12:00, and enjoyed some end-of-the-school-year free time from 1-2:30 p.m.
The City of Lewisville live-tweeted the events of the day on the city’s Twitter account: @LewisvilleTexas.