The Rye City Schools are going native.
A new initiative called Spring for Rye will remove invasive trees and plant 200 native trees across the four campuses of the Rye City School District. The group is raising $200,000 to support invasive removal, native tree planting by professional landscapers and replacement costs for any trees that don’t make it.
“We have come up with a plan to plant 200 trees at all of the Rye City school district campuses,” said Lucy Berkoff, one of the group founders. “All of them will be native trees. They’ll grow and developed with our children and will add so much to the environment of Rye.”
The native trees have been selected for fall color and spring blooms; species that support insects, caterpillars and pollinators and species that take a lot of water. The group was founded by Berkoff, a local landscape designer, and resident Jen Crozier with support from the Rye High School Civics Club and the School District’s director of facilities. The group has already secured financial support from the High School and Middle School Parent Organizations, The Osborn home has donated $5,000 and contributions from individuals have totaled another $59,000 to date.
“Spring for Rye contributes substantially to the community’s well-being,” said Rye High School Freshman and Civics Club Treasurer Grace Wang. “It different immensely from a one and done project with no lasting impact. Rather, it is purposeful and sincere.”
The goal of the group is to complete the fundraising this spring and then plant in three phases. The Rye High School and Middle School campus will be planted late spring this year, one elementary school will be planted this fall, and the two remaining schools will be planted in spring 2024.
You can donate one of the trees for a $500 donation.
See the Spring for Rye native tree plans for each of the Rye City School District campuses.
Watch the group presenting the native tree planting project at a recent Rye City Council meeting: