Children At Summer Playground Program Plant Trees At Allen Park

Center, Dan Stone, city arborist, planting trees with children at Allen Park Tuesday as part of the city’s Summer Playground Program. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Taking pride in one’s community is a lesson dozens of children learned at Allen Park Tuesday.

The children participated in the planting of five new trees at the park as part of the city’s summer playground program. Dan Stone, city arborist, said the trees planted included two Arnold pink silverbells, two sassafras and one Autumn gold maple. He said the two Arnold pink silverbell trees are rare, with only two others planted in the city.

“This is great. This is what it is all about, planting with the next generation,” he said. “It’s very rewarding for me and the kids, and the community. It gives them a sense of ownership in their community.”

Julia Ciesla-Hanley, city recreation coordinator, said the tree planting is an annual activity for the children who participate in the summer playground program.

“It is important for them to do more than just play kickball. This way they get to take part in something for the community and it is something they can take pride in doing,” she said.

Stone said he appreciates the funding the city receives from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to plant trees. He also appreciates the Jamestown Public Schools officials and other who participate in the summer playground program, who provide the opportunity to the children to plant trees in their community.

The playground program has five locations Allen Park; Lillian Dickson Tot Lot, Lincoln Elementary School, Fletcher Elementary School and Ring Elementary School. The program sites are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each week day, with the program running through Friday, Aug. 3.

The summer program also provides a free lunch to children under the age of 18, which is provided at each site by the Jamestown Area YMCA in conjunction with St. Susan Center.

The James Prendergast Library also offer the summer reading program at each site. The summer playground program is also made possible through support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, state Office of Children and Family Services and Chautauqua Works.