SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The largest child-led volunteer event in Savannah’s history kicked off today, and students in Chatham County learned a little something about taking care of their community.
“The most exciting part is being able to plant trees and help the environment to, well, make more trees, and make the world more exciting,” Sienna Webb, a Chatham County student said.
Over the next month, students from five different elementary schools in Chatham County, public and private, will plant camellias along Lake Meyer, with the goal of covering the entire perimeter.
Dr. Sidney Smith, the event organizer, said camellias are the perfect choice because they grow well in Savannah and bloom in the winter.
Smith did a demonstration for the children, showing them how to plant the flowers and having them tag and sign their own.
He said, that way, they can come back and see their buds bloom into fully grown camellias.
“The most interesting thing about this is these kids get a chance to plant something that will last a lifetime. Can you imagine that they’re gonna plant something that may last as long as they live, and they can come back to Savannah any old time and see it? That’s pretty special,” Smith said.
Smith tells me he’s happy to see kids from many different backgrounds come together to do something good.
“The camellia has been around Savannah forever, and they actually have a big history in Savannah. Many people don’t know that. But what we thought, is that if we could grow camellias and get kids together from different schools, from public schools and private schools together, and have them meet and do something special for our community, who knows what might happen,” he said.
The students who participated told me they had a lot of fun and did strengthen some of their friendships in the process.
“I think it was fun because I got to help my friends,” Helen Arrieta-Gonzalez, a Chatham County student said.
“When it was my turn, I only did it one time, but I really wanted to keep doing it, and my friends were being nice and letting me do it. And that was my favorite part,” she continued.
Students will be planting camellias at Lake Meyer every Friday until Nov. 17, and Smith tells us they should bloom in the coming months.