The San Jon School District will be getting a small forest of trees in conjunction with a special program provided by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
The NMEMNRD’s Forestry Division has awarded the school and the Canadian River Soil and Water Conservation District a $2,725 “Forest Re-Leaf” grant to plant 90 trees at the San Jon School Athletic Field.
Dan Ware of NMEMNRD said the planting project is a joint partnership between his department the Canadian River SWCD and the San Jon School District. The trees will be part of a beautification project and create a new windbreak at the athletic field.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said San Jon Municipal Schools Superintendent Joel Henry. “It will help protect against erosion, especially wind erosion,” said Henry, “and it will also make the area around the field look more attractive.”
Henry said the plan is to put pine trees around the north and east edges of the athletic field which is made up of the school district’s track and football field and put a small stand of deciduous trees at the junction of the east and north edges of the property. Henry said that he also anticipates that a drip irrigation system will be set up to water the trees.
“I think it will add a great deal to the look of the school once the trees have matured a bit.”
Henry said he anticipates that he will enlist the younger children of the district to take part in the planting so as they grow up in the school system in San Jon so are the trees. They way the children have a chance to “buy into” the whole program more readily.
Also, one of the requirements of the program is to have a dedication sign somewhere near the trees.
“I’m going to see if they will let all of the children who take part sign the sign,” said Henry.
The project will be funded by the Forestry Division grant and an additional 20 percent in-kind contribution from the SWCD.
Ware said New Mexico Forest “Re-Leaf” was established in 1990 to provide a tree-planting grant program for public entities such as public schools, cities, towns counties, soil and water conservation districts, rural fire districts and others.