Online Staff Report
OREGON, Ill. — Oregon High School’s horticulture class, led by Justin Ebert, will once again prepare Christmas baskets to decorate downtown Oregon, Ill.
Nov. 4, the students and teacher traveled to Sand Ridge Prairie Christmas tree plantings to collect branches. Ebert explained to the class the type (full, not sparse; bright green, no browning) and length (about a foot-and-a-half to 2 feet) of branches they should cut.
They immediately went to work, busily collecting their prizes. Some cut, others carried. Boys seemed to work seriously; girls chatted and laughed as they worked. Both accomplished their tasks. Within less than a half hour, the trailer was full with their take. They returned the next day to finish cutting, then spent two class periods arranging the branches and adding bows. The branches are placed in the hanging baskets along downtown Oregon streets to enhance the festive holiday spirit.
For summer beauty, the classes have filled the baskets with flowering plants. These quiet, behind-the-scene workers deserve thanks for making the city more beautiful.
The Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County (PPSOC), owner of Sand Ridge, donated the branches. They are all from Scotch pine, the fullest and best evergreens to use for arrangements such as swags and wreaths.
The trees are in a site scheduled for clearing. They are overgrown, and their removal will open up a broader vista.
Although the trees have become too large and scraggly to be Christmas trees, they serve another purpose well.
This is an excellent example of how students can contribute to the betterment of their community.
Posted Nov. 13, 2013